or na·ïve

[ nah-eev ]
/ nɑˈiv /
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See synonyms for: naive / naively on Thesaurus.com


having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality; unsophisticated; ingenuous.
having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous: She's so naive she believes everything she reads. He has a very naive attitude toward politics.
having or marked by a simple, unaffectedly direct style reflecting little or no formal training or technique: valuable naive 19th-century American portrait paintings.
not having previously been the subject of a scientific experiment, as an animal.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of naive

1645–55; <French, feminine of naïf,Old French naif natural, instinctive <Latin nātīvusnative


na·ive·ly, adverbna·ive·ness, nounun·na·ive, adjectiveun·na·ive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for naive

British Dictionary definitions for naive


nave naf

/ (naɪˈiːv) /


  1. having or expressing innocence and credulity; ingenuous
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)only the naive believed him
artless or unsophisticated
lacking developed powers of analysis, reasoning, or criticisma naive argument
another word for primitive (def. 5)


rare a person who is naive, esp in artistic styleSee primitive (def. 10)

Derived forms of naive

naively, navely or nafly, adverbnaiveness, naveness or nafness, noun

Word Origin for naive

C17: from French, feminine of naïf, from Old French naif native, spontaneous, from Latin nātīvus native, from nasci to be born
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

Medical definitions for naive



Lacking worldliness and sophistication.
Simple and credulous as a child.
Not previously subjected to experiments.
Not having previously taken or received a particular drug.


One who is artless, credulous, or uncritical.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.