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naive

or na·ïve

[nah-eev]
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adjective
  1. having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality; unsophisticated; ingenuous.
  2. having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous: She's so naive she believes everything she reads. He has a very naive attitude toward politics.
  3. having or marked by a simple, unaffectedly direct style reflecting little or no formal training or technique: valuable naive 19th-century American portrait paintings.
  4. not having previously been the subject of a scientific experiment, as an animal.

Origin of naive

1645–55; < French, feminine of naïf, Old French naif natural, instinctive < Latin nātīvus native
Related formsna·ive·ly, adverbna·ive·ness, nounun·na·ive, adjectiveun·na·ive·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. simple, unaffected, unsuspecting, artless, guileless, candid, open, plain.

Antonyms

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

Examples from the Web for naive

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She raised her blue eyes toward the ceiling in a naive rapture.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • A fellow of some innocence in his naive duplicity, but none the less dangerous.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • At this naive statement, the sheepman could not restrain a smile.

    Hidden Water

    Dane Coolidge

  • Not that I should advise you to imitate this naive way out of a difficulty.

    Wood-Carving

    George Jack

  • Some of the forms it assumes are simple and naive, like feudal rights.


British Dictionary definitions for naive

naive

nave naf

adjective
    1. having or expressing innocence and credulity; ingenuous
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)only the naive believed him
  1. artless or unsophisticated
  2. lacking developed powers of analysis, reasoning, or criticisma naive argument
  3. another word for primitive (def. 5)
noun
  1. rare a person who is naive, esp in artistic styleSee primitive (def. 10)
Derived Formsnaively, navely or nafly, adverbnaiveness, naveness or nafness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from French, feminine of naïf, from Old French naif native, spontaneous, from Latin nātīvus native, from nasci to be born
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 naive

adj.

1650s, "natural, simple, artless," from French naïve, fem. of naïf, from Old French naif "naive, natural, genuine; just born; foolish, innocent; unspoiled, unworked" (13c.), from Latin nativus "not artificial," also "native, rustic," literally "born, innate, natural" (see native (adj.)). Related: Naively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

naive in Medicine

naive

adj.
  1. Lacking worldliness and sophistication.
  2. Simple and credulous as a child.
  3. Not previously subjected to experiments.
  4. Not having previously taken or received a particular drug.
n.
  1. One who is artless, credulous, or uncritical.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.