Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday August 27, 2008
naif \nah-EEF; ny-\ , adjective:
1. A naive or inexperienced person.
It is only very naif critics who think that all one's influences must be contemporary.
-- John Fowles, Wormholes
Their money-grubbing game: they feign a tragic past and prey on the sympathies of unsuspecting naifs, fishing for bank account numbers or photocopies of passports.
-- Nathalie Atkinson, "Con heir", Toronto Life, September 1, 2003
Believing nothing, the skeptic is blind; believing everything, the naif is lame.
-- "We Are All Wayfarers On the Waves of Time", Hinduism Today, November 30, 1998
But underneath their differences, they're variations on a theme: one a naif, one worldly-wise who learns from the naif.
-- Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, "Torched Songs", Palm Beach Post, September 15, 2000
Naif comes from French, from Old French naif, "naive, natural, just born," from Latin nativus, "native, rustic," literally "born, inborn, natural," from Latin nativus, "inborn, produced by birth," from natus, past participle of nasci, "to be born."