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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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
  • He was, however, anticipated by the voice of the ingenuous and youthful Alice.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • As for the present book, it is ingenuous and delicate, the revealer of a fine intelligence.

    The Book of Masks Remy de Gourmont
  • Thy heart is ingenuous and sincere; thy misfortune is poignant and affecting.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • "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.

  • The instincts of ingenuous youth are easily induced to take the better part.

    Philebus Plato
  • As to botany, he cherished it with a deep and ingenuous passion, and not as a pastime.

  • The President, so ingenuous and child-like, must never suspect the truth!

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • 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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