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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 ingenuousness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I inquired, for ingenuousness of that sort is uncommon among the Jews.

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
  • Mr Sparkler might have replied with ingenuousness, 'My life, I have nothing to say.'

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • "I haven't a doubt of it," said Peter soberly, though very much amused at his employer's ingenuousness.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • His presence and air had the appearance of frankness, ingenuousness, and manly confidence.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • These two examples of ingenuousness are sufficiently characteristic of the morality of the system.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • They gave these shrewd railroad men no credit for ingenuousness.

  • These questions, uttered with childish rapidity and ingenuousness, threw some light upon the apparent mystery.

    Adrift on the Pacific Edward S. Ellis
  • He spoke of his marriage with all the ingenuousness and simplicity of a child.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • Despite the ingenuousness of her loyal nature, Joan could no longer doubt the ill will or jealousy of the captains.

British Dictionary definitions for ingenuousness

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 ingenuousness

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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