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ingenuous Line breaks: in|genu|ous
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈdʒɛnjʊəs/

Definition of ingenuous in English:


(Of a person or action) innocent and unsuspecting: he eyed her with wide, ingenuous eyes she’s staggeringly ingenuous, or possibly very cunning indeed
More example sentences
  • I assure you, I'm neither ingenuous or disingenuous or naive here.
  • Sometimes the reviewer knows nothing of the author or the reputation in which a book comes wrapped, the result being a rare, ingenuous honesty.
  • It had a sly, ingenuous surface, the charming and amusing thoughts of a group of seven-year-olds ruminating on sex, money, school, race, love, mum and dad, the future and each other.
naive, innocent, simple, childlike, trusting, trustful, over-trusting, unwary, unsuspicious, unguarded, unsceptical, uncritical, unworldly, wide-eyed, inexperienced, green;
open, sincere, honest, frank, candid, undeceitful;
direct, forthright, artless, guileless, genuine, unaffected, unstudied, unsophisticated


Late 16th century: from Latin ingenuus literally 'native, inborn', from in- 'into' + an element related to gignere 'beget'. The original sense was 'noble, generous', giving rise to 'honourably straightforward, frank', hence 'innocently frank' (late 17th century).



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈdʒɛnjʊəsli/
Example sentences
  • Whether angling to arrive at a lecture with a victim family member or throwing shade on each other's designs, these architects ingenuously perform for the camera.
  • It's both a juggling and a balancing act where sometimes the fiction wobbles ingenuously, and stumbles away from the security of direct or amplified quotation.
  • If you ask me, he was often fairly on the mark, but he was not one to waste time ingenuously explaining his agenda, unless it was going to further it.


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈdʒɛnjʊəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • But what's captivating about this book is its candor, its ingenuousness, and really its alien-ness.
  • He infuses recurring, revelatory pieces about the emotional effects of a father's absenteeism to complement the ever-unfurling theme of ingenuousness.
  • He shook his head at his friends' ingenuousness.

Words that rhyme with ingenuous

strenuous, tenuous

Definition of ingenuous in:

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Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly