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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The victim was given two option to prove his innocence. cleveland, 4 Mar. 2022 Fez orders his little bro to wash the blood off his hands to prove his innocence, but Ash instead brings his stash of weapons with him to the bathroom and loads up. ELLE, 28 Feb. 2022 Instead of trying to prove his innocence, FJ calmly tells Aram that taking down the Arcane Network would affect the entire Bureau and the country… because FJ is the creator of Arcane Wireless. Laura Sirikul,, 26 Feb. 2022 When she is jailed, her frayed relationship with her daughter Tereza (Denisa Barešová) is put to the test as she is left with very few options to prove her innocence. Jd Linville, Variety, 16 Feb. 2022 After working to prove her innocence, Cassie takes her life to Los Angeles and embarks on a journey of sobriety. Katherine Tinsley, Good Housekeeping, 14 Jan. 2022 Meanwhile, the five suspects unite to try to prove their innocence. Kelly Wynne,, 11 Jan. 2022 While dash cams have been in use by trucking companies for years to help prove innocence in the event of a crash, for example, AI has entered the fold. Steve Banker, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 Mary decides to prove her innocence in the whole cult-leader thing by highlighting the scope of her Hoarders’ den. Olivia Crandall, Vulture, 12 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of innocence

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

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

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Innocence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for innocence


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

More from Merriam-Webster on innocence

Nglish: Translation of innocence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of innocence for Arabic Speakers


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