What does naive mean? You’re about to find out!
Quick Vocab Quiz for the word naive
First, before you read the explanation, definition, and discussion of the word naive, try this quick vocab quiz:
naive most nearly means
(A) new (B) uninstructed (C) young (D) fresh (E) wizened
Part of Speech: ADJECTIVE
Pronunciations: IPA: /na.ˈiv/ Glossary-style: [na-EEV]
Definition: having or showing a lack of knowledge, experience, judgment, or education. having or showing genuine simplicity of mind. easily deceived; gullible.
Give it to me straight: If someone is naive, then he lacks a lot of the knowledge and information that we expect people in modern society to have. For example, a child would be naive about many things that adults are not naive about; it is much easier to trick a child than an adult, because children are more naive than adults (although there are many exceptions!).
Some people use the word naive interchangeably with the word stupid, but the latter implies a lack of brain power, where the former connotes more a lack of experience or instruction.
Example: People often lament having anything stolen from them, but they also tend to realize that being a victim of theft also makes them less naive and therefore less likely to have anything stolen from them again.