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ingénue

or ingenue

[an-zhuh-noo, -nyoo; French an-zhey-ny] /ˈæn ʒəˌnu, -ˌnyu; French ɛ̃ ʒeɪˈnü/
noun, plural ingénues
[an-zhuh-nooz, -nyooz; French an-zhey-ny] /ˈæn ʒəˌnuz, -ˌnyuz; French ɛ̃ ʒeɪˈnü/ (Show IPA)
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.
Origin of ingénue
1840-1850
1840-50; < French, feminine of ingénu < Latin ingenuus native, inborn, etc.; see ingenuous
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ingénue
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nature and my training have made you a perfect specimen of an ingénue, and I beseech you, darling, do me credit.

    The Letters of her Mother to Elizabeth W. R. H. (William Rutherford Hayes) Trowbridge
  • I like your habit of always practising the ingénue, even in your letters to me, it helps you to act it the better.

    The Letters of her Mother to Elizabeth W. R. H. (William Rutherford Hayes) Trowbridge
  • I question whether she was an ingénue at all, but, if she were, she was an ingénue of great and varied experience.

  • Only two kinds of woman, he would have maintained yesterday, could conceivably do a thing like this: an ingénue or 'that sort.'

    Grey Roses Henry Harland
  • No genuinely artistic likeness can be found between Mrs. Siddons, for instance, and116 the ingénue.

    Modern Painting, Its Tendency and Meaning Willard Huntington Wright
  • Even the most absolute ingénue is conscious that she is an ingénue, and Marian Fletcher was by no means that.

    Woven with the Ship Cyrus Townsend Brady
British Dictionary definitions for ingénue

ingénue

/ˌænʒeɪˈnjuː; French ɛ̃ʒeny/
noun
1.
an artless, innocent, or inexperienced girl or young woman
Word Origin
C19: from French, feminine of ingénuingenuous
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
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Word Origin and History for ingénue

ingenue

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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