Definition of innocence in English:



  • 1The state, quality, or fact of being innocent of a crime or offense.

    ‘they must prove their innocence’
    • ‘Despite protesting his innocence, he is convicted and imprisoned.’
    • ‘At the hearing, the hospital denied the accusation but has not provided any evidence to prove its innocence.’
    • ‘In addition, you have remained an advocate for his innocence after the crime.’
    • ‘In flagrant violation of all existing legal principles, the detainee must then prove his innocence.’
    • ‘No reinterpretation of the evidence and no protestations of innocence can alter those facts.’
    • ‘It is always open to the judge or the jury, if there is a jury, to accept an interpretation of the facts consistent with innocence.’
    • ‘He has consistently protested his innocence and declared he has ‘a full answer’ to them.’
    • ‘Indeed, they have implied that the girl was actually at fault because she had not done enough to prove her innocence.’
    • ‘Her princely lover accused the knight and challenged him to a combat of arms to prove his innocence or guilt.’
    • ‘If we wish to retain the position that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, we must allow their innocence to be preserved by anonymity.’
    • ‘She can deny that human rights, presumption of innocence and just plain common decency are being sullied.’
    • ‘Why am I running away instead of proving my innocence when I didn't commit the crime?’
    • ‘You can take each one separately and criticize it and say it is as consistent with innocence as with guilt.’
    • ‘He says despite the hundreds of exonerations in the US, proving innocence still takes years.’
    • ‘For instance, that the state must prove guilt as opposed to the accused proving innocence.’
    • ‘The court heard that he still maintained his innocence over the offences which were years old.’
    • ‘The heady success of our global communication and computer advances does not conceal our lack of innocence.’
    • ‘The court is only authorized to review cases if it is presented with new facts or proof of innocence.’
    • ‘The steadfast and stubborn denial of guilt leads to the complete inability to recognise actual innocence.’
    • ‘After all, it refers to a standard of proof that assumes innocence until guilt is proven.’
    guiltlessness, blamelessness, freedom from guilt, freedom from blame, irreproachability, clean hands
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    1. 1.1Lack of guile or corruption; purity.
      ‘the healthy bloom in her cheeks gave her an aura of innocence’
      • ‘This would be the thorough destruction of my innocence, the purity humanity sought in me.’
      • ‘These stories are typical of Walsh's interest in the survival of innocence in a corrupt world.’
      • ‘Thus the imagery of Aquarius dwells upon the cleansing power of water to offer the representation of youth, innocence and purity.’
      • ‘Many of his operas deal with the loss of innocence in the young and their corruption by adults.’
      • ‘For all his sophistication, he retains an extremely likeable quality of innocence.’
      • ‘Much of his work deals with the theme of innocence corrupted by capitalism.’
      • ‘But Browne presents him as an amalgam of innocence and worldliness, good nature and guile.’
      • ‘I always tell her she has the quality that all of us need to project more, which is purity and innocence.’
      • ‘Her image of purity, innocence and kindness fits the traditional Chinese female role.’
      • ‘Pasting a smile on her face, she came back up and stood straight, tilting her head in mock innocence.’
      • ‘Her beautiful curls were let loose in a wild array of curls to heighten her aura of innocence.’
      • ‘Yet it could just as easily have been inspired by any number of movies given its theme of the corruption of innocence.’
      • ‘The bagman becomes the last vestige of her innocence; thoroughly corrupted by her jealous rage.’
      • ‘Their songs have a certain elegant charm and a quality of innocence that's genuinely disarming.’
      • ‘Eager to learn from the great man, she hangs on his every word, reminding him of his own faraway innocence and purity of motive.’
      • ‘This innocence clashing with the ugliness of life, was this good news for art?’
      • ‘The play culminates with an ironic and chilling suggestion of religion corrupting innocence.’
      • ‘I strive to keep his purity and innocence, so he doesn't have to suffer like I do.’
      • ‘Now it is rare to see his name in print unless it is being invoked as shorthand for corrupted innocence or curdled dreams.’
      • ‘You have an endearing quality of youth and innocence that attracts people around you today.’
      harmlessness, innocuousness, lack of malice, inoffensiveness
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    2. 1.2Used euphemistically to refer to a person's virginity.
      ‘they'd avenge assaults on her innocence by others’
      • ‘She ran her hand through the water in mourning for her lost innocence, and her inability to fight him.’
      virginity, chastity, chasteness, purity, lack of sin, sinlessness, impeccability, spotlessness
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Middle English: from Old French, from Latin innocentia, from innocent- not harming (based on nocere injure).