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or na·ïve  (nī-ēv′, nä-) also na·if or na·ïf (nī-ēf′, nä-)
1. Lacking worldly experience and understanding, especially:
a. Simple and guileless; artless: a child with a naive charm.
b. Unsuspecting or credulous: naive victims of the scam.
2. Showing or characterized by a lack of sophistication and critical judgment: "this extravagance of metaphors, with its naive bombast" (H.L. Mencken).
3. Not having experienced or been subjected to something, as:
a. Not previously subjected to experiments: testing naive mice.
b. Not having previously taken or received a particular drug: patients naive to antipsychotic medication.
One who is artless, credulous, or uncritical.

[French naïve, feminine of naïf, from Old French naif, natural, native, from Latin nātīvus, native, rustic, from nātus, past participle of nāscī, to be born; see genə- in Indo-European roots.]

na·ive′ly adv.
na·ive′ness n.
Synonyms: 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; Cecilia, 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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.naiveness - lack of sophistication or worldliness
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
artlessness, ingenuousness, innocence, naturalness - the quality of innocent naivete
credulousness, gullibility - tendency to believe too readily and therefore to be easily deceived
simple mindedness, simpleness, simplicity - a lack of penetration or subtlety; "they took advantage of her simplicity"
References in classic literature ?
"You respect her very much, don't you?" she added, quite unconscious of the naiveness of the question.
In the unreserved and instant sharing of all thoughts, all impressions, all sensations, we see the naiveness of a children's foolhardy adventure.
As Hers wrote in the 2013 book Art Without Capitalism (also published by Les Presses du Reel), "Advocating or settling for participation simply maintains, through naiveness or self-interest, an illusion of commitment."