immunity, impunity
In non-medical contexts immunity means ‘freedom or exemption from an obligation, penalty, or unfavourable circumstance’ and like immune can be followed by to or from:

• Balder was a son of the most senior god, Odin, and one version of the legend says he was blessed with the gift of immunity from harm —H. Hauxwell et al., 1989

• Immunity to rubella does not protect a person from measles, or vice versa —medical website, AmE 2004 [OEC].

Impunity has the more limited meaning ‘exemption from punishment or from the injurious consequences of an action’, is not followed by to or from, and is used chiefly in the phrase with impunity:

• In our dreams we can do with impunity things we would like to do in real life but cannot —make love with a Hollywood sex symbol or murder our boss —J. Grant, 1990.

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Impunity — means exemption from punishment or loss . [ [ Free Dictionary] ] In the international law of human rights, it refers to the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice and, as such …   Wikipedia

  • Impunity — Im*pu ni*ty, n. [L. impunitas, fr. impunis without punishment; pref. im not + poena punishment: cf. F. impunit[ e]. See {Pain}.] Exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss. [1913 Webster] Heaven, though slow to wrath, Is never with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • impunity — ► NOUN (usu. in phrase with impunity) ▪ exemption from punishment or from the harmful consequences of an action. ORIGIN Latin impunitas, from impunis unpunished …   English terms dictionary

  • impunity — I noun absolution, acquittal, amnesty, condonation, dispensation, escape, exemption, exemption from judgment, exemption from penalty, exemption from punishment, freedom, freedom from judgment, freedom from penalty, freedom from punishment,… …   Law dictionary

  • impunity — (n.) 1530s, from M.Fr. impunité (14c.) and directly from L. impunitatem (nom. impunitas) freedom from punishment, omission of punishment, also rashness, inconsideration, from impunis unpunished, without punishment, from assimilated form of in not …   Etymology dictionary

  • impunity — [n] freedom dispensation, exception, exemption, immunity, liberty, license, nonliability, permission, privilege, security; concept 376 Ant. imprisonment, incarceration  …   New thesaurus

  • impunity — [im pyo͞o′ni tē] n. [Fr impunité < L impunitas < impunis, free from punishment < in , without + poena, punishment: see PAIN] freedom or exemption from punishment, penalty, or harm SYN. EXEMPTION …   English World dictionary

  • impunity — im|pu|ni|ty [ımˈpju:nıti] n [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: impunitas, from poena pain, punishment ] do sth with impunity if someone does something bad with impunity, there is no risk that they will be punished for it ▪ It s astonishing that… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • impunity — [[t]ɪmpju͟ːnɪti[/t]] PHRASE: PHR after v (disapproval) If you say that someone does something with impunity, you disapprove of the fact that they are not punished for doing something bad. Mr Cook said future aggressors would be able to act with… …   English dictionary

  • impunity — noun do sth with impunity if you do something wrong or immoral with impunity, there is no risk that you will be punished for it: Men used to be able to violently abuse their wives with almost total impunity …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.