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[dis-in-jen-yoo-uh s] /ˌdɪs ɪnˈdʒɛn yu əs/
lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere:
Her excuse was rather disingenuous.
Origin of disingenuous
First recorded in 1645-55; dis-1 + ingenuous
Related forms
disingenuously, adverb
disingenuousness, noun
nondisingenuous, adjective
nondisingenuously, adverb
nondisingenuousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for disingenuous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Where have you learned the disingenuous and faithless arts you employ?

    Imogen William Godwin
  • I am a foolish, disingenuous woman: I have been very culpable.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • This expedient of mine, disingenuous as it was, was successful.

    My Friend Smith Talbot Baines Reed
  • Tell me then, my dear Camilla, do you sigh under the weight of any disingenuous conduct?

    Camilla Fanny Burney
  • Cowardly and disingenuous—cringing and arrogant at the same time!

British Dictionary definitions for disingenuous


not sincere; lacking candour
Derived Forms
disingenuously, adverb
disingenuousness, 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
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Word Origin and History for disingenuous

"lacking in candor," 1650s, from dis- "opposite of" + ingenuous. Related: Disingenuously; disingenuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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