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 Her witty lines, lust for LL Cool J, and naivete stuck to your ribs long after your first watch. Niki Mcgloster,, "Natalie Desselle Reid Was More Than A Sidekick — She Was A Masterful Black Hollywood Mainstay," 8 Dec. 2020 This naivete has also shaped federal campaign-finance laws and how the Supreme Court governs them. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Georgia Runoff Elections Are a Referendum on Political Corruption," 7 Dec. 2020 In a sequence that drives home her youthful naivete, the princess-to-be skates through the halls of Buckingham Palace while listening to Duran Duran. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Emma Corrin was always drawn to Princess Diana. Now she knows her from the inside out," 15 Nov. 2020 In the aftermath of such polarizing language, though, there may be a naivete — however noble — in believing common ground is achievable. Washington Post, "In Biden victory, a cast change: Out with Richard III, in with Atticus Finch," 9 Nov. 2020 All of this is true, and the idealism of it is as inspiring as the naivete of it is disquieting. Washington Post, "Planet Word, a new museum devoted to language, is a high-tech, feel-good experience," 21 Oct. 2020 Whether Mohammed bin Salman deserves derision, support, or something in between, Saudi Arabia did not reach its current impasse by accident: 40 years of relentless Iranian aggression and intermittent American naivete helped drive the kingdom there. Martin Peretz, WSJ, "‘Crosswinds’ Review: Middle East Balancing Act," 19 Oct. 2020 There's a naivete that exists in youth, about the hunger or thirst for life. Dalton Ross,, "Nico Tortorella on playing a 'full-blown queer superhero' on The Walking Dead: World Beyond," 13 Oct. 2020 Her naivete and general Americanness grate on the nerves of her French colleagues, especially her hard-shelled boss Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu). Washington Post, "25 questions we have after watching ‘Emily in Paris,’ Lily Collins’s utterly baffling new Netflix series," 6 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for naivete

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The first known use of naivete was in 1673

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Cite this Entry

“Naivete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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Nglish: Translation of naivete for Spanish Speakers

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