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na·ive or na·ïve  audio  (n-v, nä-) KEY  also na·if or na·ïf  (n-f, nä-) KEY 

  1. Lacking worldly experience and understanding, especially:
    1. Simple and guileless; artless: a child with a naive charm.
    2. Unsuspecting or credulous: "Students, often bright but naive, betand losesubstantial sums of money on sporting events" (Tim Layden).
  2. Showing or characterized by a lack of sophistication and critical judgment: "this extravagance of metaphors, with its naive bombast" (H.L. Mencken).
    1. Not previously subjected to experiments: testing naive mice.
    2. Not having previously taken or received a particular drug: persons naive to marijuana.
One who is artless, credulous, or uncritical.

French naïve, feminine of naïf, from Old French naif, natural, native, from Latin ntvus, native, rustic, from ntus, past participle of nsc, to be born; see gen- in Indo-European roots

na·ively(Adverb), na·iveness(Noun)

naive, simple, ingenuous, unsophisticated, natural, unaffected, guileless, artless

These adjectives mean free from guile, cunning, or sham. Naive sometimes connotes a credulity that impedes effective functioning in a practical world: "this naive simple creature, with his straightforward and friendly eyes so eager to believe appearances" (Arnold Bennett). Simple stresses absence of complexity, artifice, pretentiousness, or dissimulation: "Those of highest worth and breeding are most simple in manner and attire" (Francis Parkman). "Among simple people she had the reputation of being a prodigy of information" (Harriet Beecher Stowe). Ingenuous denotes childlike directness, simplicity, and innocence; it connotes an inability to mask one's feelings: an ingenuous admission of responsibility. Unsophisticated indicates absence of worldliness: the astonishment of unsophisticated tourists at the tall buildings. Natural stresses spontaneity that is the result of freedom from self-consciousness or inhibitions: "When Kavanagh was present, Alice was happy, but embarrassed; Cecelia, joyous and natural" (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow). Unaffected implies sincerity and lack of affectation: "With men he can be rational and unaffected, but when he has ladies to please, every feature works" (Jane Austen). Guileless signifies absence of insidious or treacherous cunning: a guileless, disarming look. Artless stresses absence of plan or purpose and suggests unconcern for or lack of awareness of the reaction produced in others: a child of artless grace and simple goodness.

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