Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lacking worldly experience and understanding, especially:
  • adj. Simple and guileless; artless: a child with a naive charm.
  • adj. Unsuspecting or credulous: "Students, often bright but naive, bet—and lose—substantial sums of money on sporting events” ( Tim Layden).
  • adj. Showing or characterized by a lack of sophistication and critical judgment: "this extravagance of metaphors, with its naive bombast” ( H.L. Mencken).
  • adj. Not previously subjected to experiments: testing naive mice.
  • adj. Not having previously taken or received a particular drug: persons naive to marijuana.
  • n. One who is artless, credulous, or uncritical.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lacking experience, wisdom, or judgement.
  • adj. Produced in a simple, childlike style, deliberately rejecting sophisticated techniques.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having native or unaffected simplicity; ingenuous; artless; frank
  • adj. Having a lack of knowledge, judgment, or experience; especially, lacking sophistication in judging the motives of others; credulous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Simple; unsophisticated; ingenuous; artless.
  • In philosophy, unreflective; uncritical.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. lacking information or instruction
  • adj. marked by or showing unaffected simplicity and lack of guile or worldly experience
  • adj. inexperienced
  • adj. not initiated; deficient in relevant experience
  • adj. of or created by one without formal training; simple or naive in style

Etymologies

French naïve, feminine of naïf, from Old French naif, natural, native, from Latin nātīvus, native, rustic, from nātus, past participle of nāscī, to be born.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French naïve, from Latin nativus ("native, natural"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Once it's here, it's spreading like a virus that's going into what we call a naive population.

    CNN Transcript Jul 23, 2009

  • At a news conference today with the visiting president of Afghanistan, Mr. Bush attacked what he called a naive conclusion drawn from a major government report on the war on terror.

    CNN Transcript Sep 26, 2006

  • At a news conference today with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Mr. Bush took aim at what he called a naive conclusion and a political leak.

    CNN Transcript Sep 26, 2006

  • He directed his ire at Hansen who had used the word "naive" in his assessment of the game in Monday's newspaper.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • I also reject what I call the naive Austrian view, which is that the only information problem that markets cannot solve is that of seeing through the distortions caused by government money.

    Library of Economics and Liberty

  • While I'm more than a little nervous that "naive" is code for "adorkably clumsy," I'm crossing my fingers that the agent Bynes replaced us with knows what he or she is doing.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • (on camera): He says the U.S. should reject what he calls the naive and flawed thinking that by sitting down with terrorist groups and their sponsors like Iran, they'll stop being threats.

    CNN Transcript May 17, 2008

  • There's lots of highly sohpisticated people here and on our city council, and in fact, being naive is a virtue; we're not so cynical.

    Seattle Cops Must Earn Our Respect. And They’re Not. « PubliCola

  • Now and then, rubbing his eyes vigorously, an editor catches a sudden glimpse of the revolution and breaks out in naive volubility, as, for instance, the one who wrote the following in the Chicago Chronicle: American socialists are revolutionists.

    Revolution

  • Perhaps ignorant, or naive, is a better description.

    Stephen White - An interview with author

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Comments

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  • A primo of mine wrote in his high school's yearbook a legacy: "I leave naive."

    November 13, 2010

  • Evian in reverse.

    July 22, 2007