na·​ive·​te nä-ˌēv-ˈtā How to pronounce naivete (audio)
variants or naïveté or less commonly naiveté
: a naive remark or action
The farce is noted for its ridiculous acts and naïvetés.
: the quality or state of being naive
His account sometimes displays a gee-whiz naivetéGregory McNamee

Examples of naivete in a Sentence

her naïveté led her to leave her new car unlocked while she shopped at the mall though he was streetwise, the investigative reporter regularly assumed an air of naïveté when he was interviewing confidence men, charlatans, counterfeiters, and other assorted swindlers of the general public
Recent Examples on the Web That's what certain Americans have done for generations in these wide-open spaces, out of malice or naivete or hope. Abe Streep, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2023 Lumi felt comfortable enough to reveal that a few record labels had already approached him with offers of $10,000 for an album—an attempt, in Magana’s eyes, to exploit an undereducated teen’s naivete about how the industry really works. WIRED, 19 Oct. 2023 However, layered beneath the seeming naivete is a dynamic exploration of family units, identity, hierarchy, conflict, and belonging. Marley Marius, Vogue, 28 Sep. 2023 Elza van den Heever personifies Senta’s passion as well as naivete in a luminous soprano. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 8 Aug. 2023 Putting aside the naivete of believing that any mass migration of that magnitude would be so seamless, easy and peaceful, Roland Emmerich’s film is a masterpiece of the disaster movie genre. Fidel Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 Jillian, tired of having her kindness mistaken for naivete or weakness, insists on the latter. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Aug. 2023 Why? Huw Montague Rendall is the very incarnation of Pelléas’ boyish naivete. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 4 Aug. 2023 The Impact of These Misconceptions At first, this might simply seem frustrating—that food manufacturers are capitalizing on consumer naivete to boost prices. Melissa Breyer, Treehugger, 17 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'naivete.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French naïveté, from Old French, inborn character, from naif

First Known Use

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of naivete was in 1673

Dictionary Entries Near naivete

Cite this Entry

“Naivete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also naivete
: the quality or state of being naive
: a naive remark or action

More from Merriam-Webster on naivete

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