1. Lacking in cunning, guile, or worldliness; innocent or naive: I'm not so ingenuous as to believe everything he says. See Synonyms at naive.
2. Straightforward or frank; candid: "I must be so ingenuous as to own that the accounts are not so certain as to the exact time and place of his birth" (Memoir of Martinus Scriblerus).
[Latin ingenuus, honest, freeborn; see genə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.