Definition of naiveté in English:


(British naïveté, naivety)


  • 1Lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.

    ‘the administration's naiveté and inexperience in foreign policy’
    • ‘A black undercover agent penetrated the group, egged its members on, played on their political naiveté and inexperience.’
    • ‘A lack of sophistication is important, as is a naiveté about story construction.’
    • ‘Their worldly wise cynicism is actually at best naiveté and at worst dereliction.’
    • ‘Therefore, a certain naiveté, unburdened by conventional wisdom, can sometimes be a positive asset.’
    • ‘Such naiveté engenders its own array of contradictory attitudes and emotions, including guilt, hypocrisy, and envy.’
    • ‘Robert shook his head at my naiveté. ‘They had to get the poor people out so they could get the space.’’
    • ‘There is a naiveté on behalf of people who drive trucks, that the vehicle is only built to carry so much weight, but there is economic interest for hauliers to increase their load.’
    • ‘Like flat-earthers and creationists, libertarians glorify their scientific naiveté by labeling it transcendental insight.’
    • ‘We will always think that the older generation doesn't understand, and they will likewise always shake their heads at the naiveté of those who come after them.’
    • ‘What I really hate is the child-like naiveté of some scientists who really ought to know better.’
    • ‘Such naiveté proved to be a boon for hungry humans who began arriving on ships in the sixteenth century, as well as for the monkeys, pigs, cats and rats they brought with them.’
    • ‘A high degree of naiveté and lack of organizational development for cross-border business was evident.’
    • ‘And, one imagines, also sheltered by a large, extended family and a devout faith, raised by parents who reveal their own naiveté by inviting unknown panhandlers to work on their home.’
    • ‘Behind their glowing reports of great blessing is a terrible shortsightedness and naiveté that threatens to undermine historical Christianity in this part of the world.’
    • ‘Her naiveté about his motives places her in a precarious financial position - she ends up owing him $9000, which she intends to pay back at any cost.’
    • ‘A palpable naiveté seems to come with the territory - a sense that one's learned duty is to foster reassurance in the prevailing structures, and confidence in their guardians.’
    innocence, lack of sophistication, lack of experience, ingenuousness, guilelessness, lack of guile, unworldliness, childlikeness, trustfulness, simplicity, naturalness
    gullibility, credulousness, credulity, over-trustfulness, lack of suspicion, blind faith, immaturity, callowness, greenness, ignorance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Innocence or unsophistication.
      ‘they took advantage of his naiveté and deep pockets’
      • ‘In fact, when he speaks of naiveté he is not speaking of childish innocence - which is directly bound up with curiosity about the world and the desire to know.’
      • ‘He ate it with the innocence and naiveté of a child, whilst Dan and I laughed hysterically causing him to get paranoid.’
      • ‘As I write it now, of course, I see the incredible naiveté and insularity of our worlds, but that was just the way things were for upper middle class 18-year-olds in 1986.’
      • ‘My optimism and naiveté evaporated within hours.’
      • ‘Watching the girl work out the world of adult manipulation, knowing she is losing whatever innocence and naiveté she had, you can't help rooting for her.’
      • ‘He deliberately chose not to involve them, but to take advantage of his aunt's naiveté in business matters.’
      • ‘The simple fact of their asking for a ‘promise’, a thing so almost childlike in its innocence and naiveté, should tell us that they are vulnerable and hurting.’
      • ‘It would be the height of naiveté, or something less innocent, to pretend that business interests do not impinge on the way crashes are investigated and reported to the public.’


Late 17th century: from French naïveté, from naïf, -ive (see naive).