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1. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating: "Increasingly, the question of immigration has become a disingenuous stalking-horse for race and racial hostility" (Tyler Stovall).
2. Pretending to be unaware or unsophisticated; faux-naïf.
3. Usage Problem Unaware or uninformed; naive.
Usage Note: Disingenuous usually means "insincere" and often seems to be a synonym of cynical or calculating. Not surprisingly, the word is used often in political contexts, as in It is both insensitive and disingenuous for the White House to describe its aid package and the proposal to eliminate the federal payment as "tough love." This usage was accepted by 94 percent of the Usage Panel in our 1997 survey. Fully 88 percent accepted the extended meaning of "playfully insincere, faux-naïf," in "I don't have a clue about late Beethoven!" he said. The remark seemed disingenuous, coming from one of the world's foremost concert pianists. Sometimes disingenuous is used as a synonym for naive, as if the dis- prefix functioned as an intensive (as it does in certain words like disannul) rather than as a negator. This usage did not find much admiration among Panelists, however. Seventy-five percent rejected it in the phrase a disingenuous tourist who falls prey to stereotypical con artists.
not sincere; lacking candour
dis•in•gen•u•ous(ˌdɪs ɪnˈdʒɛn yu əs)
lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; insincere.
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|Adj.||1.||disingenuous - not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness; "an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator, who...exemplified...the most disagreeable traits of his time"- David Cannadine; "a disingenuous excuse"|
insincere - lacking sincerity; "a charming but thoroughly insincere woman"; "their praise was extravagant and insincere"
adj → unaufrichtig