Definition of naive in English:


(also naïve)


  • 1(of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.

    ‘the rather naive young man had been totally misled’
    • ‘When she does engage in critical analysis, the results are naive and limited.’
    • ‘They were naive with respect to the purpose of the experiment and none of them had participated in the previous experiment.’
    • ‘I stand by my labeling of the answer as naïve, however.’
    • ‘His chronic lack of judgement and naive approach to the complexities of the society lead inevitably to tragedy.’
    • ‘The authors are not naïve about the barriers to the process of experimentation and adoption.’
    • ‘This seems pretty naïve and naturally enough there's been no improvement.’
    • ‘They were naive to believe they were immune from war's violence.’
    • ‘Again, to be fair, in Bangalore he made a bold - some would say naive - attempt to redefine Britain's role in the world.’
    • ‘We are not naive about the many threats and dangers there are today to world peace and security, nor about the urgent need to do something about them.’
    • ‘Investing in art is ideal for naive investors since it is risk-free.’
    • ‘I'm not naive enough to think everyone will think this one through like the engineer geek I am.’
    • ‘An aware, as opposed to naive, romanticism never did anyone any harm.’
    • ‘You always said that you were politically naive, that you were a non-political person.’
    • ‘Only a very naive observer would conclude that this is currently a party with the focus and energy to win another mandate, whoever its leader may be.’
    • ‘He has been particularly criticized for lack of military experience and naive views of warfare.’
    • ‘He was naïve about this due to his inexperience.’
    • ‘I don't think that I was - I think I was more naive on that front than one would expect.’
    • ‘I'm not naive enough to think that the job of the press is to make the president look good or even to make the country look good.’
    • ‘Based on this rather naive childhood wish, I did a lot of research and finally got there.’
    • ‘I can't believe she's that naive and she's a nurse and she's an educated person.’
    1. 1.1(of a person) natural and unaffected; innocent.
      ‘Andy had a sweet, naive look when he smiled’
      • ‘She was blushing; her flushed face made her look innocent and naïve.’
      • ‘We miss out on the world because we are naive, ingénues who need to be taught everything.’
      • ‘Despite her independence and academic brilliance, she is naive and unworldly and her choices are terrifying.’
      • ‘It's about being innocent and naive, much like Adam was in Paradise before the fall from grace.’
      • ‘For example, Daisy is always seen wearing white, which gives her and innocent naive appearance.’
      • ‘She wasn't always as innocent and naive as she seemed.’
      • ‘She was terribly naïve and innocent and I suspected that she did not know what it could mean when her best friend just decided to leave a group outing.’
      • ‘He's a benign aid worker with a naïve, innocent, sponge-like desire to learn about the world he's landed in.’
      • ‘In many ways, Joseph was naïve and innocent in his thinking.’
      • ‘Perhaps it was the shock that kept them hoping or maybe it was a naive innocence.’
      • ‘Everything about them was dainty and feminine and naïve, innocent and pure, lovely and artless.’
      • ‘She was simply too innocent, too naive to understand the look he had when he looked at her.’
      • ‘She's had a rough childhood and still managed to stay sweet, innocent and a little naive.’
      • ‘It is the most innocent and naive who find themselves entrapped.’
      • ‘In the light of this, one might be inclined to say that she is naïve or innocent or foolhardy.’
      • ‘Speaking with the naive innocence of childhood, he asks why mummy and daddy aren't married and on their honeymoon.’
      • ‘You might think we are fools to be so naive, so innocent, so foolish.’
      • ‘He was kind of goofy and maybe even a little naïve, with an innocent smile on his face.’
      • ‘She had a naïve, innocent look about her as if she would believe anything a person told her.’
      • ‘Maybe it wasn't a coincidence and you're not as innocent or naive as you try to act.’
      innocent, unsophisticated, artless, ingenuous, inexperienced, guileless, unworldly, childlike, trusting, trustful, dewy-eyed, starry-eyed, wide-eyed, fond, simple, natural, unaffected, unpretentious
      gullible, credulous, easily taken in, easily deceived, unsuspecting, over-trusting, over-trustful, born yesterday, unsuspicious, deceivable, dupable, immature, callow, raw, green, as green as grass, ignorant
      wet behind the ears
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Of or denoting art produced in a straightforward style that deliberately rejects sophisticated artistic techniques and has a bold directness resembling a child's work, typically in bright colors with little or no perspective.
      • ‘Executed in the same flat, almost naïve style, the stylus emerges from the right hand side almost threateningly, bearing down on the record.’
      • ‘Admittedly, I did get the feeling that extended exposure to its naive style might weary me, but at first glance?’
      • ‘A series of naïve pop images has been created using the phone's drawing application.’
      • ‘In such work his style was colourful and bizarre, sometimes with an almost naive quality of freshness.’
      • ‘He picks the naive approach and joyous colours and forms creating a montage of the flora, fauna and people of South Asia.’
      • ‘Like the sculpture, the images represent a very naive viewpoint in the art world.’
      • ‘She presents characters, churches and landscapes in a naïve and nostalgic way, yet also flavoured with a bit of this kitsch.’
      • ‘Linear simplicity, naive spontaneity, subtlety of tones and interesting techniques mark his abstracts.’
      • ‘Her paintings are exquisite, naïve and impressionistic, ghostly boats that drift across dripped canvases.’
      • ‘His style seems to represent a point halfway between naive art and Expressionism.’
      • ‘Such naïve art of the Vermicelli school is the very antithesis of this Art.’
      • ‘Her designs which were both naive and decorative showed great purity of line.’
      • ‘Not that all the art on display is naive; some of it is beautiful in its own right.’
      • ‘The collection is striking in its combination of works from both the realms of art brut and naive art.’
      • ‘When on the outside walls, they are of simple design in a more naive style.’
      • ‘This campaign utilises unrelated fun visuals and a faux naive style, which makes it all the smarter.’


Mid 17th century: from French naïve, feminine of naïf, from Latin nativus native, natural.