qualified immunity


Definition of qualified immunity

law : immunity from civil liability that is conditioned or limited (as by a requirement of good faith or due care) especially : immunity from lawsuits that is granted to public officials (such as police officers) for acts that violate someone's civil rights if it can be shown that the acts do not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would be aware An officer conducting a search is entitled to qualified immunity where clearly established law does not show that the search violated the Fourth Amendment. Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223 (2009) Wayne Jones's family won a small victory this month when the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the officers involved in his killing could not claim qualified immunity. — Hailey Fuchs By bypassing qualified immunity, but paying out judgments assessed against the officers, Colorado's new law ensures that victims are made whole and that good cops aren't deterred from doing their jobs. — Nick Sibilla

First Known Use of qualified immunity

circa 1859, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About qualified immunity

Time Traveler for qualified immunity

Time Traveler

The first known use of qualified immunity was circa 1859

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near qualified immunity



qualified fee

qualified immunity


qualified property


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for qualified immunity

Cite this Entry

“Qualified immunity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/qualified%20immunity. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for qualified immunity

qualified immunity

Legal Definition of qualified immunity

— see immunity


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!