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ingenuous

[in-jen-yoo-uh s] /ɪnˈdʒɛn yu əs/
adjective
1.
free from reserve, restraint, or dissimulation; candid; sincere.
2.
artless; innocent; naive.
3.
Obsolete. honorable or noble.
Origin of ingenuous
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin ingenuus native, free-born, honorable, frank, equivalent to in- in-2 + gen- (base of gignere; see ingenious) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; see -ous
Related forms
ingenuously, adverb
ingenuousness, noun
half-ingenuous, adjective
half-ingenuously, adverb
half-ingenuousness, noun
Can be confused
ingenious, ingenuous (see usage note at ingenious)
Synonyms
1. frank, straightforward, open. 2. guileless.
Usage note
See ingenious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ingenuous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Without knowing why, they understood perfectly now that neither had been ingenuous.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Somehow, the inflection on the last word did not altogether suggest the ingenuous.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • It was ingenuous and brave; born of a proud and great purity.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • He trembled before this innocence, so ardent and so ingenuous.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • He was, however, anticipated by the voice of the ingenuous and youthful Alice.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • Her ingenuous innocence did not conceal her gladness at seeing me!

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I cannot boast of Mr. Creech's ingenuous fair dealing to me.

  • Thy heart is ingenuous and sincere; thy misfortune is poignant and affecting.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • Imogen stood for a moment in a sweet and ingenuous state of suspense.

    Imogen William Godwin
British Dictionary definitions for ingenuous

ingenuous

/ɪnˈdʒɛnjʊəs/
adjective
1.
naive, artless, or innocent
2.
candid; frank; straightforward
Derived Forms
ingenuously, adverb
ingenuousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ingenuus freeborn, worthy of a freeman, virtuous, from in-² + -genuus, from gignere to beget
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 ingenuous
adj.

1590s, "noble in nature," from Latin ingenuus "with the virtues of freeborn people, of noble character, frank, upright, candid," originally "native, freeborn," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + gen-, root of gignere "beget, produce" (see genus). Sense of "artless, innocent" is 1670s, via evolution from "high-minded" to "honorably open, straightforward," to "innocently frank." Related: Ingenuously; ingenuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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