Definition of innocent in English:


Line breaks: in¦no|cent
Pronunciation: /ˈɪnəs(ə)nt


  • 1Not guilty of a crime or offence: the prisoners were later found innocent he is innocent of Sir Thomas’s death
    More example sentences
    • Under Turkish law, everyone accused of a political or criminal offence is innocent until the crime is proved.
    • Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty in accordance with law.
    • If we did follow a policy of no victims' names, we'd be horribly unfair to the other party, the person who's picked up for the crime and who is innocent until proved guilty.
    guiltless, guilt-free, not guilty, blameless, not to blame, in the clear, unimpeachable, irreproachable, above suspicion, beyond criticism, without fault, faultless; honourable, honest, upright, upstanding, law-abiding, incorrupt
    informal squeaky clean
  • 1.1 (innocent of) Without experience or knowledge of: a man innocent of war’s cruelties
    More example sentences
    • The accepted view was that girls going to the marriage bed would be innocent of any sexual experience and would then gain it from their ‘considerate’ husbands.
    • She knows she is innocent of infernal rites or knowledge of Satan, but she also knows that she has seduced and killed with psychological precision.
    • It is oblivious to the suffering of the Jews in Europe and to the Holocaust and innocent of any knowledge of pogroms or ghettos.
  • 1.2 (innocent of) Without; lacking: a street quite innocent of bookshops
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    • He suggested it was worrying to players to suspect they could inadvertently test positive for a banned substance, believing it to be innocent of such chemicals.
    free from, without, lacking (in), empty of, clear of, unacquainted with, ignorant of, unaware of, unfamiliar with, untouched by
    rare nescient of
  • 2 [attributive] Not responsible for or directly involved in an event yet suffering its consequences: an innocent bystander
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    • Amnesty International is worried that the stun guns could ‘inflict pain and other suffering on innocent bystanders’.
    • But Afghanistan is a hard land and the simple fact remains that those fighting for control of power rarely, if ever, bother about the suffering of innocent civilians.
    • However, we are now at war so we all need to face up to the reality and do as much as we can to ease the suffering of innocent civilians.


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  • 1A pure, guileless, or naive person: a young innocent abroad
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    • They are particularly impressive in their roles as the two younger girls - innocents who quickly come to grips with the nastiness of their new reality.
    • He says the Telegraph ignored important reasons to suppose that the girl, or more likely her parents, were not innocents abroad but downloaders on a big scale.
    • They were innocents abroad who were only doing what their society expected of them.
    unworldly person, naive person; child; novice, greenhorn; French ingénue
    literary babe in arms, babe
  • 2A person involved by chance in a situation, especially a victim of crime or war: they are prepared to kill or maim innocents in pursuit of a cause
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    • Here we have on our doorstep a way of bringing to account those people who commit heinous crimes against our innocents.
    • My concern is especially for the innocents who are maimed or killed though the irresponsible behaviour of the motorbike drivers causing the problems.
    • As a test of the independence and honesty of the mass media, few tasks are more revealing than that of reporting our own government's responsibility for the killing of innocents abroad.
  • 2.1 (the Innocents) The young children killed by Herod after the birth of Jesus (Matt. 2:16).
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    • I think of The Slaughtering of the Innocents for example, that was one of the paintings there.
    • Some of the engravings, such as The Judgement of Paris and The Massacre of the Innocents are among Raphael's most fascinating master-pieces.
    • Ask most people today what he is known for and they will only mention the Massacre of the Innocents referred to in the Gospel of St Matthew.



More example sentences
  • She smiles innocently and pulls her shoulders to her neck like a shy little girl.
  • He said he presumed the changing area was communal and had innocently been trying on an England football T-shirt.
  • Whilst innocently messing around on the net last night I happened to stumble across their secret little niches.


Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin innocent- 'not harming', from in- 'not' + nocere 'to hurt'.

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