[in-uh-suh ns]
  1. the quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
  2. freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness: The prisoner proved his innocence.
  3. simplicity; absence of guile or cunning; naiveté.
  4. lack of knowledge or understanding.
  5. harmlessness; innocuousness.
  6. chastity.
  7. an innocent person or thing.
  8. bluet(def 1).
  9. blue-eyed Mary.

Origin of innocence

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English word from Latin word innocentia. See innocent, -ence
Related formssu·per·in·no·cence, noun
Can be confusedinnocence innocents Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for innocences

Historical Examples of innocences

  • Death is theirs, The death of innocences and despairs; The dying of the golden and the grey.

    Later Poems

    Alice Meynell

  • Its misfortunes, its infirmities, its innocences were counted to it as sins.

    The Combined Maze

    May Sinclair

  • Mrs. Besant, with her innocences and enthusiasms, was a baby in the hands of this female Cagliostro.

    Flowers of Freethought

    George W. Foote

British Dictionary definitions for innocences


  1. the quality or state of being innocentArchaic word: innocency (ˈɪnəsənsɪ)

Word Origin for innocence

C14: from Latin innocentia harmlessness, from innocēns doing no harm, blameless, from in- 1 + nocēns harming, from nocēre to hurt, harm; see noxious
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 innocences



mid-14c., "freedom from guilt," from Old French inocence "innocence, purity, chastity" (12c.), from Latin innocentia, from innocens "harmless, blameless" (see innocent). Meaning "lacking in guile or artifice" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper