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

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 The idea that the West is going to inspire these countries to change their ways with the force of its moral example is laughable, an embarrassing display of both naivete and self-importance. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 1 Apr. 2022 These are spooky Nightwalker strawberries that are supposed to taste like pineapple and blind naivete, maybe. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 28 Feb. 2022 As a newly out gay Southerner dating a man in the military, his impact far exceeded his naivete and continues to this day. Breanne L. Heldman,, 20 Apr. 2022 What bothers Jenkins the most — more than his naivete, more than the lost money — is the guilt. Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2022 Policymakers across the globe have been slow to regulate cryptocurrency, likely owing to their own naivete and the industry’s breakneck growth. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 30 Mar. 2022 Jonathan Anderson embraced silliness and strangeness at both JW Anderson and Loewe, but a childlike sense of naivete was also palpable at Comme des Garçons Homme Plus and Moschino. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 1 Feb. 2022 Presented with the reality of life, Count Morstin is embarrassed by his former naivete. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 25 Feb. 2022 Has American naivete helped enable the enemy the U.S. had sought to deter? Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 16 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About naivete

Time Traveler for naivete

Time Traveler

The first known use of naivete was in 1673

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near naivete

naïve realism



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for naivete

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Naivete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on naivete

Nglish: Translation of naivete for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!