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[in-uh-suh ns] /ˈɪn ə səns/
the quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness:
The prisoner proved his innocence.
simplicity; absence of guile or cunning; naiveté.
lack of knowledge or understanding.
harmlessness; innocuousness.
an innocent person or thing.
bluet (def 1).
Origin of innocence
1300-50; Middle English < Latin innocentia. See innocent, -ence
Related forms
superinnocence, noun
Can be confused
innocence, innocents. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for innocence
  • Readers share their tales of innocence lost as fans.
  • My dedication to the campus mirrored the panic and innocence of all too many newly hired faculty members.
  • He hopes that their innocence will be shown on appeal.
  • The scriptures do not agree on the governor's ultimate degree of guilt or innocence.
  • Rose's youthful innocence shines through even in newspaper photographs, as does her unswerving devotion to her husband.
  • Given all the stuff they're throwing at you, it can't establish your innocence but it sure can deepen your woes.
  • So any innocence about our government was tempered by those revelations.
  • May stresses need to emphasize the positive, creative aspects of power and innocence.
  • The winged innocence of watercolor belies the reality of bloodied birds.
  • Behind their beliefs is the hopeless longing for innocence.
British Dictionary definitions for innocence


the quality or state of being innocent Archaic word innocency (ˈɪnəsənsɪ)
Word Origin
C14: from Latin innocentia harmlessness, from innocēns doing no harm, blameless, from in-1 + nocēns harming, from nocēre to hurt, harm; see noxious
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 innocence

mid-14c., "freedom from guilt," from Old French inocence "innocence, purity, chastity" (12c.), from Latin innocentia, from innocens "harmless, blameless" (see innocent). Meaning "lacking in guile or artifice" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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