ingenuous

Someone who is ingenuous shows a childlike innocence, trust, and openness. One of the things kindergarten teachers value is the chance to work with kids while they're still relatively ingenuous––their open, trusting natures are a joy.

A near synonym is naive. Its opposite is disingenuous, which means "giving a false impression of being honest and sincere." Don't confuse the word ingenuous with the similarly spelled ingenious, which means "very smart or clever." Ingenuous is from Latin ingenuus "having the qualities of people born free, noble, honest, open," ultimately formed from the prefix in- "in" plus gignere "to produce."

Definitions of ingenuous
1

adj lacking in sophistication or worldliness

“his ingenuous explanation that he would not have burned the church if he had not thought the bishop was in it”
Synonyms:
innocent
naif, naive
marked by or showing unaffected simplicity and lack of guile or worldly experience

adj characterized by an inability to mask your feelings; not devious

“an ingenuous admission of responsibility”
Synonyms:
artless
candid, heart-to-heart, open
openly straightforward and direct without reserve or secretiveness
undistorted
without alteration or misrepresentation
sincere
open and genuine; not deceitful
naif, naive
marked by or showing unaffected simplicity and lack of guile or worldly experience
Antonyms:
artful, disingenuous
not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness
distorted, misrepresented, perverted, twisted
having an intended meaning altered or misrepresented
insincere
lacking sincerity
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