guile·​less | \ ˈgī(-ə)l-ləs How to pronounce guileless (audio) \

Definition of guileless

: innocent, naive a straightforward man with a guileless smile

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Other Words from guileless

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 My Cousin Rachel centers around a seemingly charming and guileless widow who seduces her cousin before completely taking over his life and fortune. Anne Cohen,, "The Real Story Behind Rebecca Is More Dramatic Than The Netflix Movie," 21 Oct. 2020 With her rosy cheeks, wide eyes, and frothy wardrobe, Fanning can look absolutely guileless one second and blood-hungry the next. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "“The Great,” Reviewed: A Proudly Fictional, Pleasurably Vulgar Spin on Catherine the Great," 18 June 2020 After playing Gergich in the NBC sitcom for many years, O’Heir easily stays in character as the affable but guileless and clumsy government employee. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Celebrities are warning us about coronavirus. We ranked their best and worst PSAs," 1 Apr. 2020 Her latest victim is Harriet, a guileless naïf whose family origins are uncertain. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "A Gorgeous New Emma Adaptation Strikes Just the Right Balance of Modern and Authentic," 21 Feb. 2020 White and Pinkman were an ambivalent team, amplifying the worst and best in each other, the older mentor’s calculated wickedness playing against his guileless protégé’s compassion. Lorraine Ali,, "‘El Camino’ review: ‘Breaking Bad’ movie proves Jesse is lost without Walt," 11 Oct. 2019 The character Lionel is guiltless, guileless, noble, brave, and devastatingly romantic. Armond White, National Review, "Motherless Brooklyn’s Retro Liberalism," 13 Nov. 2019 Here, Ball’s guileless style serves as psychological characterization, conjuring people who long, above all, to remain blameless. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "“The Divers’ Game,” Jesse Ball’s Unnerving Parable of a Country That Feigns Innocence," 23 Sep. 2019 Hemingway’s pages on Fitzgerald in A Moveable Feast, for all their cruelty, capture the true source of Fitzgerald’s appeal as both person and writer—in his guileless compulsion for intimate, at times embarrassing, disclosure. Sam Tanenhaus, New Republic, "F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Shimmering Visions," 31 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guileless.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of guileless

circa 1616, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for guileless

see guile

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Time Traveler for guileless

Time Traveler

The first known use of guileless was circa 1616

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Cite this Entry

“Guileless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of guileless

: very innocent

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Nglish: Translation of guileless for Spanish Speakers

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