innate immunity

noun

Medical Definition of innate immunity

: immunity possessed by a group (as a species or race) that is present in an individual at birth prior to exposure to a pathogen or antigen and that includes components (as intact skin, salivary enzymes, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and complement) which provide an initial response against infection

called also natural immunity

— compare acquired immunity, active immunity, passive immunity

Learn More about innate immunity

Cite this Entry

“Innate immunity.” Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/innate%20immunity. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Comments on innate immunity

What made you want to look up innate immunity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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