Synonym Chooser

How is the word ingenuous different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of ingenuous are artless, naive, natural, and unsophisticated. While all these words mean "free from pretension or calculation," ingenuous implies inability to disguise or conceal one's feelings or intentions.

the ingenuous enthusiasm of children

When could artless be used to replace ingenuous?

In some situations, the words artless and ingenuous are roughly equivalent. However, artless suggests a naturalness resulting from unawareness of the effect one is producing on others.

artless charm

When is naive a more appropriate choice than ingenuous?

Although the words naive and ingenuous have much in common, naive suggests lack of worldly wisdom often connoting credulousness and unchecked innocence.

politically naive

When can natural be used instead of ingenuous?

The meanings of natural and ingenuous largely overlap; however, natural implies lacking artificiality and self-consciousness and having a spontaneousness suggesting the natural rather than the man-made world.

her unaffected, natural manner

When would unsophisticated be a good substitute for ingenuous?

While in some cases nearly identical to ingenuous, unsophisticated implies a lack of experience and training necessary for social ease and adroitness.

unsophisticated adolescents


Thesaurus Entries Near ingenuous

Cite this Entry

“Ingenuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ingenuous. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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