Definition of innocence in US English:

innocence

noun

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

    ‘they must prove their innocence’
    • ‘She can deny that human rights, presumption of innocence and just plain common decency are being sullied.’
    • ‘In flagrant violation of all existing legal principles, the detainee must then prove his innocence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Indeed, they have implied that the girl was actually at fault because she had not done enough to prove her innocence.’
    • ‘No reinterpretation of the evidence and no protestations of innocence can alter those facts.’
    • ‘You can take each one separately and criticize it and say it is as consistent with innocence as with guilt.’
    • ‘After all, it refers to a standard of proof that assumes innocence until guilt is proven.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The heady success of our global communication and computer advances does not conceal our lack of innocence.’
    • ‘The steadfast and stubborn denial of guilt leads to the complete inability to recognise actual innocence.’
    • ‘He has consistently protested his innocence and declared he has ‘a full answer’ to them.’
    • ‘Why am I running away instead of proving my innocence when I didn't commit the crime?’
    • ‘Despite protesting his innocence, he is convicted and imprisoned.’
    • ‘He says despite the hundreds of exonerations in the US, proving innocence still takes years.’
    • ‘At the hearing, the hospital denied the accusation but has not provided any evidence to prove its innocence.’
    • ‘The court is only authorized to review cases if it is presented with new facts or proof of innocence.’
    • ‘In addition, you have remained an advocate for his innocence after the crime.’
    • ‘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.’
    guiltlessness, blamelessness, freedom from guilt, freedom from blame, irreproachability, clean hands
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    1. 1.1 Lack of guile or corruption; purity.
      ‘the healthy bloom in her cheeks gave her an aura of innocence’
      • ‘These stories are typical of Walsh's interest in the survival of innocence in a corrupt world.’
      • ‘But Browne presents him as an amalgam of innocence and worldliness, good nature and guile.’
      • ‘Many of his operas deal with the loss of innocence in the young and their corruption by adults.’
      • ‘Pasting a smile on her face, she came back up and stood straight, tilting her head in mock innocence.’
      • ‘You have an endearing quality of youth and innocence that attracts people around you today.’
      • ‘Her image of purity, innocence and kindness fits the traditional Chinese female role.’
      • ‘Their songs have a certain elegant charm and a quality of innocence that's genuinely disarming.’
      • ‘This innocence clashing with the ugliness of life, was this good news for art?’
      • ‘I always tell her she has the quality that all of us need to project more, which is purity and innocence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Eager to learn from the great man, she hangs on his every word, reminding him of his own faraway innocence and purity of motive.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yet it could just as easily have been inspired by any number of movies given its theme of the corruption of innocence.’
      • ‘Now it is rare to see his name in print unless it is being invoked as shorthand for corrupted innocence or curdled dreams.’
      • ‘The bagman becomes the last vestige of her innocence; thoroughly corrupted by her jealous rage.’
      • ‘Thus the imagery of Aquarius dwells upon the cleansing power of water to offer the representation of youth, innocence and purity.’
      • ‘This would be the thorough destruction of my innocence, the purity humanity sought in me.’
      • ‘Her beautiful curls were let loose in a wild array of curls to heighten her aura of innocence.’
      harmlessness, innocuousness, lack of malice, inoffensiveness
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    2. 1.2euphemistic Used 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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Phrases

  • in all innocence

    • Without knowledge of something's significance or possible consequences.

      ‘she knew the gift had been chosen in all innocence’
      • ‘The people at the takeaway have done this in all innocence, but if the duplicity is taking place, if people are manufacturing things like this that contain nuts they are blatantly lying.’
      • ‘I set off for the pretty East Yorkshire village in all innocence after learning of concerns about the growing duck population.’
      • ‘They had to disqualify the Romanian gold-medal winner for, in all innocence, using the wrong cold medicine!’
      • ‘The family bought their home in all innocence back in 1995.’
      • ‘I just hadn't thought about the route it would take to Northampton or the slow speed at which it would travel and felt terrible to be stuck in a situation that felt like ‘rubber necking’ despite it being in all innocence.’
      • ‘I did, though get a reaction when I asked, in all innocence, if she would take dictation.’
      • ‘‘I was just wondering,’ he said in all innocence.’
      • ‘I asked him a question in all innocence - genuinely wanting to know the answer - and he thought, for some reason, I was trying to stir up trouble.’
      • ‘I guess looking anywhere intently in all innocence these days can be considered a security risk if there's someone important in that direction.’
      • ‘So, in all innocence, I told them when the services were going to be: Carol Service, Midnight Mass.’
      naivety, naiveness, ingenuousness, credulity, credulousness, trustfulness, inexperience, gullibility, simpleness, simplicity, unworldliness, lack of experience, lack of sophistication, guilelessness, greenness, childlikeness
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Origin

Middle English: from Old French, from Latin innocentia, from innocent- ‘not harming’ (based on nocere ‘injure’).

Pronunciation

innocence

/ˈɪnəsəns//ˈinəsəns/