na·​ive·​te | \nä-ˌēv-ˈtā, -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

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 Is there a statute of limitations on childhood naivete? Tonya Alanez,, "South Florida's Rob Hiaasen, novelist Carl Hiaasen's brother, killed in newsroom shooting," 29 June 2018 Now the sadness is that there’s almost a certain naivete in thinking that, in the face of all that Trump represents. . . David Weininger,, "Category-defying music, left-wing stance in composer’s provocative piece," 6 June 2018 But something about Michael's doomsday lament — rooted in a young man's naivete, but also in a scientifically accurate view of the planet — nonetheless takes root deep within Toller, feeding on his own despair. Justin Chang,, "The bracing 'First Reformed,' starring a superb Ethan Hawke, resurrects Paul Schrader's career," 17 May 2018 The assault on Glenelg and the community at large goes beyond a senior prank and shouldn’t be explained away as youthful naivete., "A senseless act of hatred," 31 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

24 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for naivete

The first known use of naivete was in 1673

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More from Merriam-Webster on naivete

Nglish: Translation of naivete for Spanish Speakers

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full of whispering sounds

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