innocent

adjective
in·no·cent | \ ˈi-nə-sənt \

Definition of innocent 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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

2a : 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

innocent

noun
plural innocents

Definition of innocent (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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.

Innocent

biographical name
In·no·cent | \ ˈi-nə-sənt \

Definition of Innocent (Entry 3 of 3)

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from innocent

Adjective

innocently adverb

Examples of innocent in a Sentence

Adjective

He says that he is innocent of the crime. She was found innocent of all charges. A person accused of a crime is considered innocent until proven guilty. Someone told your secret, but it wasn't me. I'm innocent.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This was because the NCAA’s investigation allegedly injured the good names of innocent student-athletes. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Should the NCAA Be Worried About the Lawsuit It's Facing From Former Louisville Players?," 12 July 2018 Schwarzenegger plays Ben Richards, an innocent man roped into the game, and his inevitable stiff performance and ridiculous one-liners ensure that the film is complete and utter ’80s cheese. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "10 subversive, dark American futures to stream on July 4th," 4 July 2018 Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% 0:00 / 2:29 Police shot an innocent Independence man, witnesses say. Max Londberg, kansascity, "After Independence officers kill man, mother laments treatment by police," 27 June 2018 While Americans watched in horror as innocent children and babies were torn from their parents’ arms, Ivanka Trump was posting photos of herself and her children, as happy as could be. Nick Bilton, The Hive, "Is Ivanka a Bigger Liar Than Her Dad?," 22 June 2018 An innocent child has disappeared, a mother’s heart is broken. Hadley Meares, Los Angeles Magazine, "One of the “Tragic Mysteries in Local History” Has Been All But Forgotten," 7 June 2018 And each of them is eventually forced to confront the reality that his method might not lead to the capture of the killer—or, even worse, might lead the detectives to target an innocent man while the real killer slips away. Scott Meslow, GQ, "The engrossing, based-on-a-true-story drama has been hiding on Amazon Prime.," 31 May 2018 In the aftermath, two innocent men who were mistakenly identified as having been the man confronted at Baronne and Calliope were shot dead by police, who faced no legal consequences for the killings. James Karst, NOLA.com, "'A peculiar turn' in the Axeman investigation of 1918," 13 May 2018 Hal's mother then told 8-year-old Hall to convince Svenson Cooper—the first ID'ed Black Hood—to accuse an innocent man of killing his family to save Hal's dad. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Riverdale Season 2, Episode 21 Recap: The Black Hood's Identity Is Revealed—For Real," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The government, which is supposed to protect life, is willfully taking part in the slaughter of innocents. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, "Woman who had tax-funded abortion says they 'help people in bad situations,' but critics decry public money for 'immoral act'," 25 June 2018 He was accused of using bombs and bullets in a crusade that took the lives of innocents but never did manage to snare that Cuban leader, who died at 90 in 2016. Frances Robles, BostonGlobe.com, "Luis Posada Carriles, waged quest to oust Castro, dies at 90," 25 May 2018 His arrest allowed other groups to move into the drug trade, leading to a battle for territory and the killings of both criminals and innocents throughout the country. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Thousands of immigrants pass through the southern border. Why are they fleeing their home countries?," 25 June 2018 Basquiat became famous in the early 1980s, when the idea that artists were supposed to be commercial innocents fell apart for good. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 Starting that with the cessation of U.S.-South Korea war games—that is, practicing the mass murder of innocents—is a good way to get the ball rolling. Beatrice Fihn, Time, "Ending War Games With South Korea Isn't a 'Stunning Concession.' It's the Best Thing to Come Out of the Summit So Far," 13 June 2018 By the time the fighting had subsided, thousands of innocents had lost their lives — including five American nuns, who Taylor’s soldiers mistakenly believed to be cooperating with the forces arrayed against them. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "Another Liberian in Delco stands trial for alleged role in brutal civil war," 11 June 2018 He was accused of using bombs and bullets in a crusade that took the lives of innocents but never did manage to snare that Cuban leader, who died at 90 in 2016. Frances Robles, BostonGlobe.com, "Luis Posada Carriles, waged quest to oust Castro, dies at 90," 25 May 2018 He was accused of using bombs and bullets in a crusade that took the lives of innocents but never did manage to snare that Cuban leader, who died at 90 in 2016. Frances Robles, BostonGlobe.com, "Luis Posada Carriles, waged quest to oust Castro, dies at 90," 25 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of innocent

Adjective

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for innocent

Adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about innocent

Statistics for innocent

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for innocent

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for innocent

innocent

adjective
in·no·cent | \ ˈi-nə-sənt \

Kids Definition of innocent

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

Other words from innocent

innocently adverb

innocent

adjective
in·no·cent | \ ˈin-ə-sənt \

Medical Definition of innocent 

: lacking capacity to injure : benign an innocent tumor innocent heart murmurs

innocent

adjective
in·no·cent | \ ˈi-nə-sənt \

Legal Definition of innocent 

: characterized by innocence

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on innocent

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

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

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!