guile·​less ˈgī(-ə)l-ləs How to pronounce guileless (audio)
: innocent, naive
a straightforward man with a guileless smile
guilelessly adverb
guilelessness noun

Examples of guileless in a Sentence

she was an easygoing, guileless young woman who was comfortable just being herself
Recent Examples on the Web Her Sandra can be vivid and elusive, warm and guarded, calculating and oddly guileless. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2023 Ona’s Tía Pastora is a reader of truths; Tía Camila is an herbalist and healer; and even the seemingly guileless Tía Matilde is blessed with a superhuman capacity for kindness. Patricia Engel, Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2023 Whatever Ratmansky’s true feelings about gender politics, there is something guileless about his public statements. Alice Robb, The New Republic, 16 Oct. 2023 To be honest once more: As a piece of writing, the book is disappointingly guileless. WIRED, 3 Oct. 2023 Jerry is a guileless family man with 13 children and eight funeral homes. Peter Debruge, Variety, 11 Sep. 2023 Partly for this reason—and because of his vulnerability in the face of sudden and drastic changes—there’s something innocently pacific and constructive about the furies that emerge from Tomas’s guileless candor and impulsive ardor. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2023 Evert glanced up and saw a new girl approaching, pale and plump as a dumpling, with a guileless face beneath a mop of hair. Sally Jenkins, Anchorage Daily News, 3 July 2023 One of the many artist friends for whom his poor, guileless Mildred served as patron was a struggling young writer named Harold Vanner. Jonathan Dee, Harper's Magazine, 11 May 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'guileless.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see guile

First Known Use

circa 1616, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of guileless was circa 1616

Dictionary Entries Near guileless

Cite this Entry

“Guileless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


guile·​less ˈgī(ə)l-ləs How to pronounce guileless (audio)
: not sly or tricky : innocent, naïve
a guileless person
a guileless smile
guilelessly adverb
guilelessness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on guileless

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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