naive

adjective
na·​ive | \ nä-ˈēv , nī-\
variants: or naïve
naiver; naivest

Definition of naive

1 : marked by unaffected simplicity : artless, ingenuous the experienced man speaks simply and wisely to the naive girl— Gilbert Highet
2a : deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment their naive ignorance of life … when they were first married— Arnold Bennett especially : credulous … tells tall tales of the West to tweak naïve city slickers. — Miriam Horn
b : not previously subjected to experimentation or a particular experimental situation made the test with naive rats also : not having previously used a particular drug (such as marijuana)
c : not having been exposed previously to an antigen naive T cells
b : produced by or as if by a self-taught artist naive murals

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Other Words from naive

naively or naïvely adverb
naiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for naive

natural, ingenuous, naive, unsophisticated, artless mean free from pretension or calculation. natural implies lacking artificiality and self-consciousness and having a spontaneousness suggesting the natural rather than the man-made world. her unaffected, natural manner ingenuous implies inability to disguise or conceal one's feelings or intentions. the ingenuous enthusiasm of children naive suggests lack of worldly wisdom often connoting credulousness and unchecked innocence. politically naive unsophisticated implies a lack of experience and training necessary for social ease and adroitness. unsophisticated adolescents artless suggests a naturalness resulting from unawareness of the effect one is producing on others. artless charm

Examples of naive in a Sentence

Secularism requires a commitment to civil liberty, which rests partly on respect for civil disobedience—peaceful acts of conscience that challenge rules of law. If civil libertarianism is naïve, then so is the hope of secular government. — Wendy Kaminer, Free Inquiry, December 2008/January 2009 He exhibits a naïve sort of confidence when talking about the doubts surrounding him and the perceived slights in the draft run-up. — Peter King, Sports Illustrated, 1 May 2006 His crimes were described as mere bumps in the road, minor offenses committed by a man-boy described as innocent, naïve, trusting, a simple country boy who got lost in airports and was astonished to find out that he could order a pizza over the phone. — Pat Jordan, Harper's, October 2004 a naive belief that all people are good a naive view of the world She asked a lot of naive questions. I was young and naive at the time, and I didn't think anything bad could happen to me. The plan seems a little naive. If you're naive enough to believe him, you'll believe anyone.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Netflix Once upon a time, network TV creators thought Netflix was naive to pay lots of money to license their old content. Rani Molla, Recode, "Netflix and Hulu go in for comedies while Amazon sticks to drama: A look at the original content boom," 28 Sep. 2018 The real adults are in the resistance Trump is not inexperienced, naive, or in need of expert guidance. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There never were any “adults in the room”," 21 Dec. 2018 Perez's resilience was an uncomprehendingly grand factor in his phoenix's rise from the ashes 11 years ago, but the businessman is not naive enough to make the same mistake twice. SI.com, "Why Florentino Perez's Mistakes Over a Decade Ago Could Spell the End of Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid," 29 Jan. 2018 Whether that particular move looks brilliant or naive will probably depend on what happens with the most famous Klutch Sports client this summer, but again, the outcome shouldn't be the point. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "Trusting the Lakers' Process in NBA Free Agency," 26 June 2018 But Sophie Allison, the 20-year-old Nashville songwriter behind the music, is anything but naive. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, "Soccer Mommy’s messy emotions come to the surface in ‘Clean’," 28 Mar. 2018 Although — and this may be just incredibly naive on my part... Eric Johnson, Recode, "Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates explains how Donald Trump is trying to corrupt the Justice Department," 12 Nov. 2018 Trump critics call his approach to foreign policy inconsistent and naive, handing his rivals unintended victories by allowing his instincts to undermine his own administration's strategy. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Has North Korea already trumped the U.S. in the propaganda war?," 2 June 2018 Perhaps feeling protective of his little Baby Monster, and realizing just how young and naive Tess still is, Sasha tells her to return to her hometown. refinery29.com, "Sweetbitter Episode 6: Careful What You Wish For," 11 June 2018

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

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for naive

French naïve, feminine of naïf, from Old French, inborn, natural, from Latin nativus native

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Dictionary Entries near naive

naish

naissance

naissant

naive

naïve realism

naivete

naivety

Statistics for naive

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for naive

The first known use of naive was in 1614

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More Definitions for naive

naive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of naive

: having or showing a lack of experience or knowledge : innocent or simple

naive

adjective
na·​ive
variants: or naïve \ nä-​ˈēv \
naiver; naivest

Kids Definition of naive

1 : showing lack of experience or knowledge He asked a lot of naive questions.
2 : being simple and sincere

Other Words from naive

naively adverb

naive

adjective
na·​ive
variants: or naïve \ nä-​ˈēv \
naiver; naivest

Medical Definition of naive

1 : not previously subjected to experimentation or a particular experimental situation naive laboratory rats
2 : not having previously used a particular drug (as marijuana)
3 : not having been exposed previously to an antigen a naive immune system naive T cells

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More from Merriam-Webster on naive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with naive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for naive

Spanish Central: Translation of naive

Nglish: Translation of naive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of naive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on naive

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