Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The state, quality, or virtue of being innocent, especially.
  • noun Freedom from sin, moral wrong, or guilt through lack of knowledge of evil.
  • noun Guiltlessness of a specific legal crime or offense.
  • noun Freedom from guile, cunning, or deceit; simplicity or artlessness.
  • noun Lack of worldliness or sophistication; naiveté.
  • noun One that is innocent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Harmlessness; innoxiousness: as, the innocence of a neutral article of diet in disease.
  • noun Freedom from moral wrong; untainted purity of heart and life; unimpaired integrity; sinlessness; artlessness: as, the innocence of childhood; angelic innocence.
  • noun Freedom from legal or specific wrong; absence of particular guilt or taint; guiltlessness: as, the prisoner proved his innocence.
  • noun Freedom from legal taint; absence of illegality: said of things, particularly of property that might be contraband of war: as, the innocence of a cargo or of merchandise.
  • noun Simplemindedness; mental imbecility; want of knowledge or of sense; ignorance or idiocy.
  • noun The bluet, Houstonia cærulea. See Houstonia.
  • noun A pretty American scrophulariaceous plant, Collinsia verna, the flowers of which have the lower lip blue and the upper purple or nearly white.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state or quality of being innocent; freedom from that which is harmful or infurious; harmlessness.
  • noun The state or quality of being morally free from guilt or sin; purity of heart; blamelessness.
  • noun The state or quality of being not chargeable for, or guilty of, a particular crime or offense.
  • noun Simplicity or plainness, bordering on weakness or silliness; artlessness; ingenuousness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Absence of responsibility for a crime.
  • noun Lack of understanding about sensitive subjects such as sexuality and crime.
  • noun Lack of ability or intention to harm or damage.

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

  • noun a state or condition of being innocent of a specific crime or offense
  • noun the quality of innocent naivete
  • noun the state of being unsullied by sin or moral wrong; lacking a knowledge of evil

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French innocence, from Latin innocens ("harmless, inoffensive").

Examples

  • It removes more than half my misfortune; and I feel as if I could die in peace, now that my innocence is acknowledged by you, dear lady, and your cousin.

    Chapter 7

  • It removes more than half my misfortune; and I feel as if I could die in peace, now that my innocence is acknowledged by you, dear lady, and your cousin.

    Chapter 8

  • Describing his nine nights in jail as "solitary confinement in the bottom of a Victorian prison," he thanked his attorneys and supporters, including the prominent backers who posted his bail, before vowing to continue WikiLeaks' work as he tries to prove what he described as his innocence in the sex-crime cases.

    WikiLeaks founder Assange released on bail

  • Describing his nine nights in jail as "solitary confinement in the bottom of a Victorian prison," he thanked his attorneys and supporters, including the prominent backers who posted his bail, before vowing to continue WikiLeaks' work as he tries to prove what he described as his innocence in the sex-crime cases.

    WikiLeaks founder Assange released on bail

  • Describing his nine nights in jail as "solitary confinement in the bottom of a Victorian prison," he thanked his attorneys and supporters, including the prominent backers who posted his bail, before vowing to continue WikiLeaks' work as he tries to prove what he described as his innocence in the sex-crime cases.

    WikiLeaks founder Assange released on bail

  • Describing his nine nights in jail as "solitary confinement in the bottom of a Victorian prison," he thanked his attorneys and supporters, including the prominent backers who posted his bail, before vowing to continue WikiLeaks' work as he tries to prove what he described as his innocence in the sex-crime cases.

    WikiLeaks founder Assange released on bail

  • And then we release them months later when their innocence is apparent.

    Think Progress » Bush Misleads on Progress in Iraq

  • The word innocence is composed of in - 'not' and nocere

    Kenzaburo Oe - Nobel Lecture

  • How that dark grey stuff was the molten stones and refuse which remained after the metal had been cleared, and then he laughed at what he called my innocence, as I asked him if the ingots, as he called the square masses which now looked quite white, were silver.

    Devon Boys A Tale of the North Shore

  • Mrs. Freakley laughed at what she called the innocence of the Child of Nature. — “No fear, Jemima, my love,” said she, “but what you will have offers enough — whether you will get a good husband is the question.”

    Lovers and Friends; or, Modern Attachments

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