Definition of naïf in English:


Pronunciation /nīˈēf/ /naɪˈif/ /näˈēf/ /nɑˈif/


  • Naive or ingenuous.

    ‘It is also a thing of beauty, with typography that's clever without being tricksy, saliva-inducing photography and cute little naif drawings.’
    • ‘As for the styles in which the popular works are executed, Castro has seen a move toward abstracts, while Delacroix, by contrast, has seen increased interest in figurative and naif works.’
    • ‘For example, consider a client who has shown interest in naif prints.’
    • ‘He is a naif artist who paints a magical world.’
    • ‘The internationally renowned French painter is a master of the naif tradition and one of the most popular artists working today.’


  • A naive or ingenuous person.

    ‘I'd rather hang out with the naifs and unsophisticates, I think, who appreciate the new and unusual, and whose bar for those things hasn't gotten to be ridiculously high.’
    • ‘When investigators tracked down Tom's parents in California, producers had to rewrite the promotional copy for the show so it wouldn't make them look like such naifs.’
    • ‘But we who were shocked turn out to be naifs, people who don't understand that the business of art is, well, business.’
    • ‘For every person such as TS Eliot, who said ‘it is impossible to regard him as a naif, a wild man, a wild pet for the supercultivated’, there were countless others who thought him plain crazy.’
    • ‘Most Americans, if they thought about her at all, considered her a naif who had chosen the wrong side and paid, tragically, with her life.’
    • ‘He is younger than even me, but he's hardly a naif about global events.’
    • ‘What were nothing more than the words of a teenage naif at a press conference soon turned into a media-generated pseudo-duel.’
    • ‘Alas, she seems as much a naif as an innocent.’
    • ‘The naif became the world's most famous exponent of bohemian life and, of course, a star in Parisian gay society.’
    • ‘Any innocent product that becomes suddenly genocidal in the hands of a tyrant has been designed by a dangerous naif.’
    • ‘Fraser moves convincingly from his zealous naif to more steely operator convincing himself of his mission's objectives.’
    • ‘And I don't know if this naif is supposed to be a journalism major - but I certainly hope not.’
    • ‘He's no naif, living in a fantasy world, but an adroit political player, using an image of weirdness to protect him.’
    • ‘But she is no naif, and there is, after all, a journalist to charm.’
    • ‘She can go from naif to minx in 60 seconds and seduce us at every stage.’
    • ‘Thus do an insecure, reclusive dictator and an insecure, impulsive foreign affairs naif hold the peace of the world in their hands.’
    • ‘In any case, now a couple weeks later I'm nothing like the commercial real estate naif I was then.’


French (see naive).