ingenue

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See also: ingénue

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the French word ingénue, the feminine form of ingénu (meaning “guileless”), originally from the Latin word ingenuus (meaning “ingenuous”).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [ˈɑnʒənu], [ˈɑ̃ʒənu]
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

ingenue (plural ingenues)

  1. An innocent, unsophisticated, naïve, wholesome girl or young woman.
  2. A dramatic role of such a woman; an actress playing such a role.
  3. An innocent, unsophisticated, naïve, wholesome person.
    • 1951 June 11, Harold L. Ickes, “Acheson, Political Ingenue”, The New Republic, volume 124, number 24, page 17: 
      Mr. Acheson's failure as Secretary of State ... has been an inability to understand people or to be understood by them.
    • 2002 Spring, Joshua David Gonsalves, “What Makes Lord Byron Go? Strong Determinations-Public/Private-of Imperial Errancy”, Studies in Romanticism, volume 41, number 1, Psychoanalytic, page 40fn: 
      I cannot resist citing, slightly out of context, another bit of Baudelaire: "Satan s'est fait ingénu" (Satan has made himself into an ingenue [Oeuvres Completes 640]).
    • 2006 September, Kevin McFadden, “It's a Cue, the Name”, Poetry, volume 188, number 5, page 417: 
      America why callow ingenue bile?

Usage notes[edit]

The corresponding masculine term, ingenu, is poorly known, and so the feminine term is sometimes used in a gender-neutral or masculine way. (See the 2002 citation, where the explicit masculine French is feminized in English.)

Related terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Italian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

ingenue f pl

  1. feminine plural of ingenuo

Noun[edit]

ingenue f

  1. plural form of ingenua

Anagrams[edit]


Latin[edit]

Adjective[edit]

ingenue

  1. vocative masculine singular of ingenuus