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ingenuous

[in-jen-yoo-uh s] /ɪnˈdʒɛn yu əs/
adjective
1.
free from reserve, restraint, or dissimulation; candid; sincere.
2.
artless; innocent; naive.
3.
Obsolete. honorable or noble.
Origin of ingenuous
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin ingenuus native, free-born, honorable, frank, equivalent to in- in-2 + gen- (base of gignere; see ingenious) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; see -ous
Related forms
ingenuously, adverb
ingenuousness, noun
half-ingenuous, adjective
half-ingenuously, adverb
half-ingenuousness, noun
Can be confused
ingenious, ingenuous (see usage note at ingenious)
Synonyms
1. frank, straightforward, open. 2. guileless.
Usage note
See ingenious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for ingenuous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Simply, that you are the most ingenuous, the most delightful creature in the world.

    Venus in Boston; George Thompson
  • "I know it," she confessed, softening her frank agreement with an ingenuous smile.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • As for the present book, it is ingenuous and delicate, the revealer of a fine intelligence.

    The Book of Masks Remy de Gourmont
  • His wife effected an introduction in her own ingenuous fashion.

  • "Now show me what guides the boat," I exclaimed, in my most ingenuous voice, as he rose from the meal and moved towards the tower.

  • I could hardly leave his ingenuous tale to rise and turn on the gas.

    When Winter Comes to Main Street Grant Martin Overton
  • As to botany, he cherished it with a deep and ingenuous passion, and not as a pastime.

  • A pleasant, ingenuous face it was, flushed now with the joy of triumph.

    The Doomsman Van Tassel Sutphen
  • Remember you are talking to a Yale girl, and not an ingenuous Harvard maiden.

    Brenda's Ward Helen Leah Reed
British Dictionary definitions for ingenuous

ingenuous

/ɪnˈdʒɛnjʊəs/
adjective
1.
naive, artless, or innocent
2.
candid; frank; straightforward
Derived Forms
ingenuously, adverb
ingenuousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ingenuus freeborn, worthy of a freeman, virtuous, from in-² + -genuus, from gignere to beget
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 ingenuous
adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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