mid-15c., "security or exemption against damage, loss, etc.," from Middle French indemnité (14c.), from Late Latin indemnitatem (nominative indemnitas) "security for damage," from Latin indemnis "unhurt, undamaged," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + damnum "damage" (see damn). Meaning "legal exemption" is from 1640s; sense of "compensation for loss" is from 1793. Related: Indemnitor; indemnitee.
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