1

ingenuous

adjective in·gen·u·ous \ in-ˈjen-yə-wəs , -yü-əs \

Definition of ingenuous

obsolete

ingenuous was our Word of the Day on 06/21/2015. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of ingenuous

by alteration


2

ingenuous

adjective

Definition of ingenuous

1 obsolete :noble, honorable
2 a :showing innocent or childlike simplicity and candidness
  • her ingenuous thirst for experience
  • —Christopher Rawson
b :lacking craft or subtlety
  • ingenuous in their brutality

ingenuously

adverb

ingenuousness

noun

Origin and Etymology of ingenuous

Latin ingenuus native, freeborn, from in- + gignere to beget — more at kin

Synonym Discussion of ingenuous

natural, ingenuous, naive, unsophisticated, artless mean free from pretension or calculation. natural implies lacking artificiality and self-consciousness and having a spontaneousness suggesting the natural rather than the man-made world.
    • her unaffected, natural manner
ingenuous implies inability to disguise or conceal one's feelings or intentions.
    • the ingenuous enthusiasm of children
naive suggests lack of worldly wisdom often connoting credulousness and unchecked innocence.
    • politically naive
unsophisticated implies a lack of experience and training necessary for social ease and adroitness.
    • unsophisticated adolescents
artless suggests a naturalness resulting from unawareness of the effect one is producing on others.
    • artless charm

INGENUOUS Defined for Kids

ingenuous

adjective in·gen·u·ous \ in-ˈjen-yə-wəs \

Definition of ingenuous for Students

:showing innocence and childlike honesty

ingenuously

adverb


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ingenuous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to suppress quietly or indirectly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!