in·​no·​cence | \ ˈi-nə-sən(t)s How to pronounce innocence (audio) \

Definition of innocence

1a : freedom from legal guilt of a particular crime or offense
b : freedom from guilt or sin through being unacquainted with evil : blamelessness
c : lack of knowledge : ignorance … written in entire innocence of the Italian language.— E. R. Bentley
d(1) : freedom from guile or cunning : simplicity
(2) : lack of worldly experience or sophistication
e : chastity
2 : one that is innocent
3 : bluet

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Examples of innocence in a Sentence

He vows that he will prove his innocence in court. the trusting innocence of childhood The age of innocence was over.
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Recent Examples on the Web There’s an unexpected innocence here that makes the chaos more palatable. New York Times, "Eww, That’s Gross. And We Like It That Way.," 30 Apr. 2021 Cute romantic innocence shape offers a warm light ambiance to your place, offers a romantic ambiance in your room. Maren Estrada, BGR, "You can only unlock these 10 deals if you subscribe to Amazon Prime," 28 Apr. 2021 Activists hold a protest in Caracas to declare López’s innocence. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Leopoldo Lopez Fast Facts," 22 Apr. 2021 The District Attorney’s Office has vigorously protected the conviction as new information on the quality of the evidence found by the innocence project attorneys has come forward. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Defense: New findings show evidence against Valley Center woman in decades-old murder case is unreliable," 19 Apr. 2021 This week, defense lawyers will try to prove Chauvin's innocence. NBC News, "In Minnesota, a grieving community desperate for change after officer killed Daunte Wright," 13 Apr. 2021 Hernandez's attorney, Amadeo, said in a statement that the court process will prove his client's innocence and offered to pay for polygraph tests for accusers., "Eastern Michigan rape suspect: Title IX director said assault didn't sound like him," 10 Apr. 2021 Weitzman, who also represented Jackson during his life, was among the singer's most vocal defenders amidst abuse allegations, rarely missing a chance to publicly proclaim Jackson's innocence. Andrew Dalton, ajc, "Howard Weitzman, lawyer for Jackson, Bieber, DeLorean, dies," 8 Apr. 2021 When the Florentine delegation opened his sarcophagus and found nothing inside, the monks feigned innocence. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian Magazine, "Follow Dante’s Footsteps Through Italy," 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'innocence.' 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 innocence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Time Traveler for innocence

Time Traveler

The first known use of innocence was in the 14th century

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Statistics for innocence

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Innocence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for innocence



English Language Learners Definition of innocence

: the state of being not guilty of a crime or other wrong act
: lack of experience with the world and with the bad things that happen in life
somewhat formal : lack of knowledge about something


in·​no·​cence | \ ˈi-nə-səns How to pronounce innocence (audio) \

Kids Definition of innocence

: the quality or state of being free from sin or guilt The evidence proved his innocence.


in·​no·​cence | \ ˈi-nə-səns How to pronounce innocence (audio) \

Legal Definition of innocence

: freedom from fault or guilt under the law: as
a : the state of not being guilty of a particular crime or offense — compare guilt
b : the state of not being guilty of an act that constitutes a ground for divorce
c : ignorance on the part of a party to a transaction of facts that would lead a person of ordinary prudence to make inquiries

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