noun, plural im·mu·ni·ties.
- the state of being immune from or insusceptible to a particular disease or the like.
- the condition that permits either natural or acquired resistance to disease.
- the ability of a cell to react immunologically in the presence of an antigen.
- exemption from any natural or usual liability.
- exemption from obligation, service, duty, or liability to taxation, jurisdiction, etc.: The ambassador claimed diplomatic immunity when they arrested him for reckless driving.
- Law. exemption from criminal prosecution or legal liability or punishment on certain conditions.
- special privilege.
- the exemption of ecclesiastical persons and things from secular or civil liabilities, duties, and burdens.
- a particular exemption of this kind.
noun plural -ties
- the ability of an organism to resist disease, either through the activities of specialized blood cells or antibodies produced by them in response to natural exposure or inoculation (active immunity) or by the injection of antiserum or the transfer of antibodies from a mother to her baby via the placenta or breast milk (passive immunity)See also acquired immunity, natural immunity
- freedom from obligation or duty, esp exemption from tax, duty, legal liability, etc
- any special privilege granting immunity
- the exemption of ecclesiastical persons or property from various civil obligations or liabilities
n.late 14c., “exempt from service or obligation,” from Old French immunité and directly from Latin immunitatem (nominative immunitas) “exemption from performing public service or charge,” from immunis “exempt, free,” from assimilated form of in- “not, opposite of” (see in- (1)) + munis “performing services” (cf. municipal), from PIE *moi-n-es-, suffixed form of root *mei- “to change” (see mutable). Medical sense “protection from disease” is 1879, from French or German. n.
- The quality or condition of being immune.
- Inherited, acquired, or induced resistance to infection by a specific pathogen.
- The protection of the body from a disease caused by an infectious agent, such as a bacterium or virus. Immunity may be natural (that is, inherited) or acquired. See also acquired immunity.
The ability of the body to resist or fight off infection and disease.