- free from reserve, restraint, or dissimulation; candid; sincere.
- artless; innocent; naive.
- Obsolete. honorable or noble.
Origin of ingenuous
SynonymsSee more synonyms for ingenuous on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ingenuous
Netanyahu, and even some ingenuous pundits, are bragging about how Israel and America have never been closer.Obama's Biggest Opportunity Yet
November 23, 2012
Without knowing why, they understood perfectly now that neither had been ingenuous.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Somehow, the inflection on the last word did not altogether suggest the ingenuous.Within the Law
It was ingenuous and brave; born of a proud and great purity.
He trembled before this innocence, so ardent and so ingenuous.
He was, however, anticipated by the voice of the ingenuous and youthful Alice.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
- naive, artless, or innocent
- candid; frank; straightforward
Word Origin and History for ingenuous
1590s, "noble in nature," from Latin ingenuus "with the virtues of freeborn people, of noble character, frank, upright, candid," originally "native, freeborn," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + gen-, root of gignere "beget, produce" (see genus). Sense of "artless, innocent" is 1670s, via evolution from "high-minded" to "honorably open, straightforward," to "innocently frank." Related: Ingenuously; ingenuousness.