Definition of naive
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 Hornb : 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
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.
Recent Examples of naive from the Web
But the politically naive Qi does manage finally to get permission to create that new army, after discovering a mining village whose scrappy populace has had to fight to keep its gold.
Thankfully, Jenkins transitions quickly into the actual story about a naive idealist who comes to accept the complexities of mankind.
Naive and awkward, their guest’s sinister intentions quickly become clear.
Her confident but naive first-born was leaving the nest.
While the exact details of what Kushner did or didn't say to the Russian ambassador are still being determined, one thing is certain: Kushner is not naive.
Mr. Harrison at times was considered by critics naive to the limits of diplomacy, particularly where Pyongyang was concerned.
11:55 am Mar. 31, 2016 Federal and state authorities just drove a stake through the heart of one of the most notorious charity scams ever to bilk the naive masses.
That sounds naive to state it starkly, but that’s what we’re dealing with here.
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.
Origin and Etymology of naive
French naïve, feminine of naïf, from Old French, inborn, natural, from Latin nativus native
First Known Use: 1654
Synonym Discussion of naive
NAIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of naive for English Language Learners
: having or showing a lack of experience or knowledge : innocent or simple
NAIVE Defined for Kids
Definition of naive for Students
1 : showing lack of experience or knowledge He asked a lot of naive questions.
2 : being simple and sincere
Word Root of naive
The Latin word nāscī, meaning “to be born,” and its form nātus give us the roots nat and nai. Words from the Latin nāscī have something to do with being born. When someone is native to a particular place, she or he was born there. A nation, or country, is a place where people are born. Anyone naive has a lack of knowledge and experience as if he or she was only recently born.
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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