[dis-in-jen-yoo-uh s]


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 formsdis·in·gen·u·ous·ly, adverbdis·in·gen·u·ous·ness, nounnon·dis·in·gen·u·ous, adjectivenon·dis·in·gen·u·ous·ly, adverbnon·dis·in·gen·u·ous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disingenuous

Contemporary Examples of disingenuous

Historical Examples of disingenuous

  • Where have you learned the disingenuous and faithless arts you employ?


    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?


    Fanny Burney

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

British Dictionary definitions for disingenuous



not sincere; lacking candour
Derived Formsdisingenuously, adverbdisingenuousness, 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 disingenuous

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper