or in·ge·nue

[ an-zhuh-noo, -nyoo; French an-zhey-ny ]
See synonyms for: ing%C3%A9nueing%C3%A9nues on

noun,plural in·gé·nues [an-zhuh-nooz, -nyooz; French an-zhey-ny]. /ˈæn ʒəˌnuz, -ˌnyuz; French ɛ̃ ʒeɪˈnü/.
  1. an artless, innocent, unworldly girl or young woman: Navy and cocoa browns are good neutrals for the ingénue, and the right creamy beige or pearl gray are good choices for her more classic outfits.

  2. the role of a young, innocent, and appealing character in a play, movie, TV show, etc., typically a female role.

  1. an actress or actor who plays such a role or specializes in playing such roles.

  2. a young actress or actor: At the awards event, natural diamonds were the gemstone of choice for both Hollywood ingenues and veterans alike.

  3. a young, inexperienced person: The ailing leader Kim Jong Il sought to transfer power to his youngest son, a political ingenue in his 20s.

Origin of ingénue

First recorded in 1840–50; from French, feminine of ingénu, from Latin ingenuus “native, inborn”; see origin at ingenuous;see also ingenuity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ingénue in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ingénue


/ (ˌænʒeɪˈnjuː, French ɛ̃ʒeny) /

  1. an artless, innocent, or inexperienced girl or young woman

Origin of ingénue

C19: from French, feminine of ingénu ingenuous

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