What does “ingenuous” mean?

As well as the standard oratorio repertory, she sang solo recitals, her dazzling smile and enchantingly ingenuous personality creating an instant bond with audiences. TELEGRAPH

I am a little bit confused about the definition of ingenuous on OALD:

ingenuous: honest, innocent and willing to trust people

What I am wondering about is honest in that definition. In my understanding it does not match with innocent and willing to trust.

Another definition on Oxford Dictionaries is less ambivalent:

ingenuous: (of a person or action) innocent and unsuspecting:

But in the context above honest would make sense and, in any case, more than being naive. Moreover my favorite translation service provides some translation in meaning of being frankly so I suppose that ingenuous has two meanings: naivety and frankness.

What is the meaning of ingenuous in the given context and what is the precise definition in general?


It is an unusual adjective. In this case, it probably means “undisingenuous” — not attempting, or attempting to appear, to be something she isn’t (so “honest” works for “ingenuous”).

The “innocent and unsuspecting” is mirrored in the borrowed French noun ingénu(e) (innocent, virtuous, candid, lacking cunning…)

Source : Link , Question Author : Em1 , Answer Author : Andrew Leach

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