1

innocent

adjective in·no·cent \ ˈi-nə-sənt \
Updated on: 19 May 2018
1 a : free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil : blameless
  • an innocent child
b : harmless in effect or intention
  • … searching for a hidden motive in even the most innocent conversation.
  • —Leonard Wibberley
also : candid
  • gave me an innocent gaze
c : free from legal guilt or fault; also : lawful
  • a wholly innocent transaction
2 a : lacking or reflecting a lack of sophistication, guile, or self-consciousness : artless, ingenuous
b : ignorant
  • almost entirely innocent of Latin
  • —C. L. Wrenn
also : unaware
  • perfectly innocent of the confusion he had created
  • —B. R. Haydon
3 : lacking or deprived of something
  • her face innocent of cosmetics
  • —Marcia Davenport

innocently

adverb

Examples of innocent in a Sentence

  1. He says that he is innocent of the crime.

  2. She was found innocent of all charges.

  3. A person accused of a crime is considered innocent until proven guilty.

  4. Someone told your secret, but it wasn't me. I'm innocent.

Recent Examples of innocent from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of innocent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin innocent-, innocens, from in- + nocent-, nocens wicked, from present participle of nocēre to harm — more at noxious

2

innocent

noun
plural innocents
: a person who is innocent: such as
a : a person free from sin : a young child
  • the biblical massacre/slaughter of the innocents
b : a naïve, inexperienced, or unsophisticated person
  • a political innocent
  • … during a great land boom in which immense fortunes were made and innocents like himself fleeced.
  • —Arthur Miller
c : a blameless person : a person who does not deserve to be harmed
  • The war caused the death of thousands of innocents.

Recent Examples of innocent from the Web

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

First Known Use of innocent

14th century

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Innocent

biographical name In·no·cent \ ˈi-nə-sənt \
name of 13 popes: especially II died 1143 (pope 1130–43); III 1160(or 1161)–1216 (pope 1198–1216); IV died 1254 (pope 1243–54); XI 1611–1689 (pope 1676–89)

INNOCENT Defined for Kids

innocent

adjective in·no·cent \ ˈi-nə-sənt \
1 : free from sin : pure
  • She's as innocent as a baby.
2 : free from guilt or blame
  • He is innocent of the charges.
3 : free from evil influence or effect : harmless
  • innocent fun

innocently

adverb

Medical Dictionary

innocent

adjective in·no·cent \ ˈin-ə-sənt \
: lacking capacity to injure : benign
  • an innocent tumor
  • innocent heart murmurs

Law Dictionary

innocent

adjective in·no·cent \ ˈi-nə-sənt \
: characterized by innocence


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up innocent? 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

talkative or wordy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!