ingenuous 1590s, "noble in nature," from L. ingenuus "with the virtues of freeborn people, of noble character, frank, upright, candid," originally "native, freeborn," from in- "in" (see IN- (Cf. in-) (2)) + gen-, root of gignere "beget, produce" (see GENUS (Cf. genus)). Sense of "artless, innocent" is 1670s, via evolution from "high-minded" to "honorably open, straightforward," to "innocently frank." Related: Ingenuously; ingenuousness.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Ingenuous — In*gen u*ous, a. [L. ingenuus inborn, innate, freeborn, noble, frank; pref. in in + the root of gignere to beget. See {Genius}, and cf. {Ingenious}.] 1. Of honorable extraction; freeborn; noble; as, ingenuous blood of birth. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ingenuous — I adjective aboveboard, apertus, artless, blunt, candid, childlike, devoid of dissimulation, downright, forthright, frank, free from reserve, genuine, guileless, honest, honorable, inartificial, innocent, liber, naive, natural, open, outspoken,… …   Law dictionary

  • ingenuous — *natural, simple, naive, unsophisticated, artless Analogous words: open, *frank, candid, plain: transparent, *clear: *childlike, childish: *straightforward, aboveboard: *sin …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • ingenuous — [adj] honest, trustful artless, candid, childlike, frank, green*, guileless, innocent, like a babe in the woods*, naive, natural, open, outspoken, plain, simple, sincere, square, straightforward, trusting, unaffected, unartful, unartificial,… …   New thesaurus

  • ingenuous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ innocent and unsuspecting. DERIVATIVES ingenuously adverb ingenuousness noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «noble, generous»: from Latin ingenuus native, inborn …   English terms dictionary

  • ingenuous — [in jen′yo͞o əs] adj. [L ingenuus, native, inborn, freeborn, noble, frank < ingignere, to engender < in , in + gignere, to produce: see GENUS] 1. Obs. of noble birth or nature 2. frank; open; candid 3. simple; artless; naive; without guile… …   English World dictionary

  • ingenuous — ingenious, ingenuous These two words are distantly related and both have undergone a major shift in meaning. Ingenious came into English via French from a Latin source derived from ingenium ‘cleverness’; it originally meant ‘intellectual,… …   Modern English usage

  • ingenuous — [[t]ɪnʤe̱njuəs[/t]] ADJ GRADED If you describe someone as ingenuous, you mean that they are innocent, trusting, and honest. [FORMAL] He seemed too ingenuous for a reporter... With ingenuous sincerity, he captivated his audience. Ant: disingenuous …   English dictionary

  • ingenuous — I. adjective Etymology: by alteration Date: 1588 obsolete ingenious II. adjective Etymology: Latin ingenuus native, freeborn, from in + gignere to beget more at kin Date: 1588 1 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ingenuous — See ingenious, ingenuous, naïve …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

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