V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. to be innocent and trusting, sometimes to the point of being foolish; 2. openly candid and sincere

Synonyms: na´ve, candid, childlike, innocent, frank, trusting, open, unreserved, honorable, sincere

Antonyms: disingenuous, insincere, deceitful

Tips: Ingenuous is derived from the Latin ingenuus, which means "honest, freeborn." Someone ingenuous can be extremely honest, to the point of being na´ve, in which case the description is somewhat negative, but it also means being very honest in a sincere and candid way, which is a good thing. Someone who is disingenuous is insincere and deceitful. Not to be confused with ingenious, which describes a clever person or idea. Note: often the prefix "in-" is negative and means "not" (e.g. invalid = not valid). However, there are also instances, like here, where "in-" is actually part of the original root word and denotes a stronger meaning. Genuous is related to genuine, so someone who is ingenuous is overly genuine. Ingenuous is related to candid. See a detailed analysis at candid.

Usage Examples:

The ingenuous man became a victim of identity theft after he gave out his personal information over the internet. (na´ve, trusting)

The child's ingenuous comment about the man's bald spot made him feel uncomfortable. (frank, candid)

The assistant's ingenuous admission that she borrowed money from the petty cash box was forgiven by her boss. (candid, frank, honorable)

It was quite ingenuous of Sara to allow the stranger to give her a ride to the service station. (trusting, childlike, na´ve)

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