na·​ive·​te | \ nä-ˌēv-ˈtā How to pronounce naivete (audio) , -ˌē-və-; nä-ˈēv-ˌtā, -ˈē-və-; nī-\
variants: or naïveté or less commonly naiveté

Definition of naivete

1 : a naive remark or action The farce is noted for its ridiculous acts and naïvetés.
2 : the quality or state of being naive His account sometimes displays a gee-whiz naiveté— Gregory McNamee

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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

Teen Vogue spoke with Steve about how nostalgia never goes out of style, getting older, and why naivete is the key to success. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "If Anyone Knows 90s Fashion, It’s Steve Madden," 19 Apr. 2019 The naivete is what those like R. Kelly depend on to ultimately afflict the young girl and therefore take advantage of the situation. Morgan Jerkins, Teen Vogue, "R. Kelly and Other Powerful Men Have Always Manipulated Their Teen Fans," 9 Jan. 2019 Fear, whether out of ignorance, naivete or paranoia, forms the foundation of the IRS phone call scam. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Those threatening scam IRS phone calls? Somebody's going to jail for them," 10 July 2018 And the Googlers writing in favor of Dragonfly, with what an only be called naivete, sidestep the issue entirely. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Dueling employee petitions have revealed a deep divide within Google over China," 29 Nov. 2018 This results in a series opener that boasts lots of gunfire and explosions, with a dash of naivete and idealism. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "John Krasinski Talks Playing a "Superhero" in 'Jack Ryan'," 17 June 2018 Critics of the president, though, said agreeing to the meeting signaled naivete, bestowing enormous prestige on Kim without any concessions having been made in advance by Pyongyang. Jonathan Kaiman,, "Speculation blazes in Beijing: Is North Korea's reclusive leader Kim Jong Un in town?," 27 Mar. 2018 Nobody could have predicted the implications, but what annoys with the Zuckerberg testimony and so on is still this game of naivete. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Business management expert and author Tom Peters on Recode Decode," 7 July 2018 The naivete that stems from a mix of inexperience and hubris once again hobbled him here. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s go-it-alone approach to foreign policy angers allies, benefits adversaries," 25 May 2018

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

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for naivete

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

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Dictionary Entries near naivete



naïve realism





Statistics for naivete

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for naivete

The first known use of naivete was in 1673

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Nglish: Translation of naivete for Spanish Speakers

Comments on naivete

What made you want to look up naivete? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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