- free from moral wrong; without sin; pure: innocent children.
- free from legal or specific wrong; guiltless: innocent of the crime.
- not involving evil intent or motive: an innocent misrepresentation.
- not causing physical or moral injury; harmless: innocent fun.
- devoid (usually followed by of): a law innocent of merit.
- having or showing the simplicity or naiveté of an unworldly person; guileless; ingenuous.
- uninformed or unaware; ignorant.
- an innocent person.
- a young child.
- a guileless person.
- a simpleton or idiot.
- Usually innocents. (used with a singular verb) bluet(def 1).
Origin of innocent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for innocents
At every turn, they described their son as a faithful follower who had dedicated his life to easing the suffering of innocents.A 26-Year-Old Woman Is ISIS’s Last American Hostage
November 17, 2014
The industry already had the blood of innocents on its hands.Murdered for Her iPhone
May 8, 2014
Kathy and Anja both always looked out for the innocents—and for reporters new to a beat, like me when I joined the AP.Remembering My Sisters in Danger, The AP’s Anja Niedringhaus and Kathy Gannon
April 4, 2014
There are no innocents in Bangladeshi politics and every politician is tainted by accusations of corruption.Bangladesh’s Radical Islamists Get U.S. Backing
January 12, 2014
Never mind the slaughter of innocents—this crew loves each other to pieces, bodies of dead children be damned.Television’s Finest Schlock: The ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Episode ‘One One Six’ Is So Damn Shakespearean
September 18, 2013
Marjolin had been found in a heap of cabbages at the Market of the Innocents.The Fat and the Thin
The innocents abroad, young man,Are frightened by you twain.The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2)
If this was how Lydia and Madame Beattie spent their hours of talk, let them, the innocents.The Prisoner
There was a slaughter of the innocents last month—that is, if they ever reached you.
I was watching the slaughter of the innocents on the tennis-court.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
- not corrupted or tainted with evil or unpleasant emotion; sinless; pure
- not guilty of a particular crime; blameless
- (postpositive foll by of) free (of); lackinginnocent of all knowledge of history
- harmless or innocuousan innocent game
- not cancerousan innocent tumour
- credulous, naive, or artless
- simple-minded; slow-witted
- an innocent person, esp a young child or an ingenuous adult
- a simple-minded person; simpleton
Word Origin and History for innocents
mid-14c., "doing no evil, free from sin or guilt," from Old French inocent "harmless; not guilty; pure" (11c.), from Latin innocentem (nominative innocens) "not guilty, harmless, blameless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + nocentem (nominative nocens), present participle of nocere "to harm" (see noxious). Meaning "free from guilt of a specific crime or charge" is from late 14c. The earliest use was as a noun, "person who is innocent of sin or evil" (c.1200). The Holy Innocents (early 14c.) were the young children slain by Herod sfter the birth of Jesus (Matt. ii:16).
- Not apparently harmful; benign.