Definition of disingenuous
: lacking in candor; also : giving a false appearance of simple frankness : calculating
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Examples of disingenuous in a Sentence
“It's had nine murders since 1937—about the same as you would get in many small towns.“ This was correct, but a wee disingenuous. The AT [Appalachian Trail] had no murders in its first thirty-six years and nine in the past twenty-two. —Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods, 1999
… and he egged Badger on, asking a disingenuous question about the antivivisection rally in Cleveland, and as Badger took the thought up and chewed it over, the Doctor made as if to excuse himself. —T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road to Wellville, 1993
… he has a disingenuous way of resorting to slang when he wants to make a big point but is afraid of sounding pretentious. —Karen Schoemer, New York Times Book Review, 31 Oct. 1993
Unity is at best an ideal, at worst a disingenuous political slogan. —Salman Rushdie, The Independent on Sunday, 25 Nov. 1990
Her recent expressions of concern are self-serving and disingenuous.
Did You Know?
Ingenuous has its roots in the slave-holding society of ancient Rome. Its ancestor ingenuus is a Latin adjective meaning "native" or "freeborn" (itself from gignere, meaning "to beget"). Ingenuus begot the English adjective ingenuous. That adjective originally meant "freeborn" (as in "ingenuous Roman subjects") or "noble and honorable," but it eventually came to mean "showing childlike innocence" or "lacking guile." In the mid-17th century, English speakers combined the negative prefix dis- with ingenuous to create disingenuous, meaning "guileful" or "deceitful."
First Known Use of disingenuous
DISINGENUOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of disingenuous for English Language Learners
: not truly honest or sincere : giving the false appearance of being honest or sincere
Seen and Heard
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