naive

adjective
na·​ive | \ nä-ˈēv How to pronounce naive (audio) , 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

Catherine Swartwood, who has battled breast cancer, told Lynn her husband of 55 years is naive and trusting and needed the money. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Middleman who funneled bribes to Dallas school bus agency officials in corruption scandal gets prison time," 9 July 2019 In Trump’s view, his domestic opponents were and are still too naive, too gullible, too soft; thorny geopolitical challenges confronting the United States require his distinct brand of forceful, unilateral action. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Trump’s maximum pressure tactics are incoherent," 21 June 2019 What could account for such a willfully, persistently small-minded, obscure, and naive vision of the role of government? Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "The Sameness of Cass Sunstein," 20 June 2019 Facebook is presenting itself to lawmakers as an idealistic company that was too naive to anticipate how bad actors might exploit its platform, echoing remarks Zuckerberg made to reporters in a rare conference call Wednesday. David Pierson, latimes.com, "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to apologize for his company's mistakes during his Washington testimony," 9 Apr. 2018 Cubillas scored his fifth World Cup goal in that game, but Brazil were simply too strong and Peru too naive. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 12 Weeks to Go - The Story of Teofilo Cubillas, the Peruvian Pele," 29 Mar. 2018 Some believed Kushner knew his business dealings would likely come up in the conversations and was too naive or inexperienced to know how to steer clear of the topic in light of his position as Trump’s adviser, the official said. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Report: Kushner's family business got loans after White House meetings with executives," 1 Mar. 2018 Some believed Kushner knew his business dealings would likely come up in the conversations and was too naive or inexperienced to know how to exit the topic in light of his position as Trump’s adviser, the official said. Zeke Miller, Time, "Jared Kushner's White House Security Clearance Gets Downgraded," 28 Feb. 2018 Williamson is not so naive as to mean this literally. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Marianne Williamson won’t make you feel better about America, but you’ll feel better about yourself," 27 June 2019

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

15 Jul 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 How to pronounce naïve (audio) \
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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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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