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artless

[ahrt-lis]
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adjective
  1. free from deceit, cunning, or craftiness; ingenuous: an artless child.
  2. not artificial; natural; simple; uncontrived: artless beauty; artless charm.
  3. lacking art, knowledge, or skill.
  4. poorly made; inartistic; clumsy; crude: an artless translation.

Origin of artless

First recorded in 1580–90; art1 + -less
Related formsart·less·ly, adverbart·less·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. naive, unsophisticated, guileless, open, frank, plain, unaffected, candid, sincere.

Antonyms

1. cunning.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for artless

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Milza endeavoured, in her own artless way, to soothe the distress her words had excited.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Flora, who had been spoiled and artless long ago, was determined to be spoiled and artless now.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Some of the inscriptions were so artless as to provoke a smile.

  • "I thought you knowed everything, father," said the artless boy.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Edwin had received from nature the gift of an honest and artless eloquence.

    Imogen

    William Godwin


British Dictionary definitions for artless

artless

adjective
  1. free from deceit, guile, or artfulness; ingenuousan artless remark
  2. natural, without artifice; unpretentiousartless elegance
  3. without art or skill
Derived Formsartlessly, adverbartlessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for artless

adj.

1580s, "unskillful," from art (n.) + -less. Later also "uncultured" (1590s); then "unartificial, natural" (1670s) and "guileless, ingenuous" (1714). Related: Artlessly; artlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper