• synonyms


or in·ge·nue

[an-zhuh-noo, -nyoo; French an-zhey-ny]
noun, plural in·gé·nues [an-zhuh-nooz, -nyooz; French an-zhey-ny] /ˈæn ʒəˌnuz, -ˌnyuz; French ɛ̃ ʒeɪˈnü/.
  1. the part of an artless, innocent, unworldly girl or young woman, especially as represented on the stage.
  2. an actress who plays such a part or specializes in playing such parts.
Show More

Origin of ingénue

1840–50; < French, feminine of ingénu < Latin ingenuus native, inborn, etc.; see ingenuous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ingenues

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I discovered my two ingenues might have been taken from the Forest Home!

    Nat Goodwin's Book

    Nat C. Goodwin

  • I didn't know that your taste ran to ingenues to such an extent.

    The Malefactor

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

British Dictionary definitions for ingenues


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

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for ingenues



1848, from French ingénue "artless girl, especially on the stage," fem. of ingénu "ingenuous, artless, simple" (13c.), from Latin ingenuus (see ingenuous). Italicized in English into 20c.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper