naïf

noun
na·​ïf | \nä-ˈēf \
variants: or naif

Definition of naïf 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a naive person

naïf

adjective
variants: or naif

Definition of naïf (Entry 2 of 2)

: naive

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Examples of naïf in a Sentence

Adjective

the senator, newly elected and still naïf, will learn soon enough how Washington really works

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Barclays was accused of defrauding those financial naifs at Citibank—even while Justice claimed that Citibank perpetrated the same scheme. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s Obama-Style Bank Heist," 18 Nov. 2018 In 2012, Popkin had learned about trees to cure this blindness in himself and went from a naif who could barely pick out an oak tree to an amateur arboriculturist who can distinguish hundreds of trees. Susan Crawford, WIRED, "What Are Screens Doing to Our Eyes—And Our Ability to See?," 27 Mar. 2018 Foreign policy veterans more accustomed to blasting Trump as a naif and a nationalist who has eroded U.S. leadership in the international institutions built since World War II found themselves praising him, albeit often with caveats. Susan Page, USA TODAY, "Analysis: With historic North Korea talks, both Trump and Kim get something they crave," 9 Mar. 2018 Photos of them ping around the web like a House of Hoops highlight reel, as fans and basketball-naifs alike scrutinize the fashion choices of their favorite players. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Is the NFL Becoming the National Fashion League?," 24 Oct. 2017 The C.I.A. segments put focus on an agent named Teddy McDonald, a wiry and bearded young guy who at first seems like a twitchy naif, but swiftly reveals himself to be a shrewd, if offbeat, pro. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Snowfall Provides Only Fleeting, Forgettable Highs," 5 July 2017 The C.I.A. segments put focus on an agent named Teddy McDonald, a wiry and bearded young guy who at first seems like a twitchy naif, but swiftly reveals himself to be a shrewd, if offbeat, pro. vanityfair.com, "Snowfall Provides Only Fleeting, Forgettable Highs," 5 July 2017 A goodhearted naif, Jose was a bellhop at a New York hotel. Frazier Moore, chicagotribune.com, "Comic Bill Dana, who won fame as 'Jose Jimenez,' dies at 92," 19 June 2017 Just a few months ago, most Washington establishment types would have sneered at the notion of a political naif running for president on little more than box-office juice, huge pecs, and a dazzling smile. Michelle Cottle, The Atlantic, "Will The Rock Be Their Fortress, Their Deliverer?," 5 June 2017

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

Noun

1891, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

circa 1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for naïf

Adjective

French

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Dictionary Entries near naïf

Naididae

Naidomorpha

Naidu

naïf

naig

naik

Naikpod

Statistics for naïf

Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for naïf

The first known use of naïf was circa 1598

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with naïf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for naïf

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