Adjective "ingenuous" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


(of a person or action) innocent and unsuspecting.
  1. 'she's staggeringly ingenuous, or possibly very cunning indeed'
  2. 'You have guests staying: nice, kind, ingenuous and well-meaning people, who are also rather boring.'
  3. 'Sometimes the reviewer knows nothing of the author or the reputation in which a book comes wrapped, the result being a rare, ingenuous honesty.'
  4. 'It seemed to my ingenuous eyes that this fellow was literally handing out cash to patrons as they entered the theater, and it occurred to me that this might be some kind of rebate.'
  5. 'Somewhat ingenuous and too trusting, nevertheless he made a lasting contribution to the land he came to love.'
  6. 'Donald was ingenuous and unworldly.'
  7. 'I assure you, I'm neither ingenuous or disingenuous here.'
  8. 'The original novel caught the ingenuous babble of its protagonist, naively recording the happy circumstances of her household as her master closed in on her.'
  9. 'But underneath it, in the emotional and psychological content, the plot is very ingenuous, almost adolescent.'
  10. 'Ryder's familiarity with the camera contributes to his disarmingly ingenuous presence, by turns determined and naive.'
  11. 'Such ingenuous theatricality marked much of that failed President's public speech, just as it marks his son's - a self-reflexiveness that many journalists noted at the time.'


1. free from reserve, restraint, or dissimulation; candid; sincere.

2. artless; innocent; naive.

3. Obsolete. honorable or noble.

More examples(as adjective)

"people can be ingenuous."

"ways can be ingenuous."

"voices can be ingenuous."

"students can be ingenuous."

"pleasures can be ingenuous."

More examples++


Late 16th century: from Latin ingenuus literally ‘native, inborn’, from in- ‘into’ + an element related to gignere ‘beget’. The original sense was ‘noble, generous’, giving rise to ‘honourably straightforward, frank’, hence ‘innocently frank’ (late 17th century).