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 The second decade of the 20th century began at the apex of naivete about the potential for the internet to enhance democracy and improve the quality of life on Earth. Siva Vaidhyanathan, Wired, "The Two Myths of the Internet," 27 Dec. 2019 Eastwood could not have made the film without Hauser, who embodies a kind of innocent naivete that allows us to sympathize with him in a narrative crafted by Eastwood and writer Billy Ray. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "‘Richard Jewell’ takes Eastwood’s libertarian ethos to questionable ends," 13 Dec. 2019 Traffickers are ruthless predators and will exploit any weakness or void: naivete, mental illness, addiction, low self-esteem, homelessness, a feeling of being unloved or unlovable. Phillip Morris, cleveland, "Dead Cleveland girls beckon us from their graves: Phillip Morris," 3 Nov. 2019 Trail experts attribute the deaths to a mix of inexperience, naivete and dicey conditions. Gregory Thomas,, "New rules aim to smooth crowds on Pacific Crest Trail," 22 Oct. 2019 Kids of that era somehow managed a certain naivete about the world, even as Vietnam raged and cities burned. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Cincinnati Reds acquisition of pitcher Gausman positively extravagant," 6 Aug. 2019 Surely, there is a level of naivete among some enlistees no matter the gender. Matthew J. Palm,, "‘Show of Force’ gives a different perspective of military life | Review," 17 Sep. 2019 However, that continually puts me in a place of naivete — learning new skills, developing new techniques, and making a lot of mistakes. Michael James Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Artist Melissa Walter always pushing her work to ‘new evolutions’," 27 Aug. 2019 The movie, directed by Gene Stupinsky and written by Stupinsky and Lee Eisenberg, spins on their clueless naivete, though these kids do drop the F bomb a lot. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Good Boys Isn’t a Movie for Kids. But It Captures What It’s Like to Be One," 15 Aug. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of naivete was in 1673

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Statistics for naivete

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Naivete.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on naivete

Nglish: Translation of naivete for Spanish Speakers

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