Immunity & Impunity

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A difference of a single letter can make a world of difference in the meanings of the words. The state of immunity is such in which one is not susceptible to anything; impunity is exemption from punishment, a state where one is totally free and not bound by any shackles.

Tool tip to remember the difference:

Just Remember: Impunity is a state of immunity from punishment.

Examples of incorrect uses of Immunity and Impunity:

1. The vaccination takes two weeks to provide full impunity.
2. Apparently, he can no longer wield a fork with impunity.

Examples of correct uses of Immunity and Impunity:

1. Most people easily develop immunity to viruses.
2. War can be initiated with impunity.

A Quick Recap:

Immunity has the following meanings:-
1. A state of being able to resist disease by counteracting its effects: “These days many vaccinations are available that help provide immunity against many fatal ailments.”
2. A condition whereby a person is protected or exempt from certain normal civil rules; implies freedom from or protection against something disagreeable or menacing: “In India the Executive heads of foreign countries enjoy immunity from being questioned or punished .”
Impunity , on the other hand, means a state of being safe from or free from punishment, penalty, or harm: “Maoist rebels carry out criminal activities in the guise of political unrest with complete impunity in states like Orrissa and West Bengal.”


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