Is there a difference between “naive” and “innocent”?

Naive may be defined as having or expressing innocence, credulity or lacking developed powers of reasoning or criticism.

Innocent may be defined as not corrupted or tainted with evil, sinless; not guilty of a particular crime.

So the difference between naive and innocent is that naive relates to lacking in knowledge or experience, whereas innocent refers more to the absence of evil or criminality.

So, a person who is naive may need to be exposed to selected experience and information so as to realize that most people are up to no good, making him less naive, and less trusting, and more skeptical.

A naive person, for example, may not know that people are lying to him or cheating on him, most probably because he believes human nature is intrinsically good. So a naive person can be said to be too idealistic and optimistic about human beings.

An innocent person, in my mind, may be knowledgeable and skillful, but choose to abstain from what is immoral or evil such as adultery, corruption, pornography, cheating and so on.

Naive= 1.
having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality; unsophisticated; ingenuous.
having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous: She’s so naive she believes everything she reads. He has a very naive attitude toward politics.
having or marked by a simple, unaffectedly direct style reflecting little or no formal training or technique: valuable naive 19th-century American portrait paintings.
not having previously been the subject of a scientific experiment, as an animal.

Innocent= 1.
free from moral wrong; without sin; pure: innocent children.
free from legal or specific wrong; guiltless: innocent of the crime.
not involving evil intent or motive: an innocent misrepresentation.
not causing physical or moral injury; harmless: innocent fun.
devoid (usually followed by of ): a law innocent of merit.

naive (comparative more naive, superlative most naive)

Lacking experience, wisdom, or judgement.
Surely you’re not naive enough to believe adverts!

(of art) Produced in a simple, childlike style, deliberately rejecting sophisticated techniques.
I’ve always liked the naive way in which he ignores all the background detail.


innocent (comparative more innocent, superlative most innocent)

Free from guilt, sin, or immorality.
Bearing no legal responsibility for a wrongful act.
Naive; artless.
Harmless in intent.
(with of) Having no knowledge (of something).
(with of) Lacking (something).

naive has a connotation of being innocent in a foolish way, but not necessarily.

in reverse, innocent is used to describe(given that you’re not talking about the word “not guilty”) a child most of the time and just because they’re young, it doesn’t mean they’re excused for being dumb.

In my opinion, naive means being ignorant of something. Innocent means being without fault/blame. Many people think that just because someone is innocent, they are ignorant of something. Not true (It can be true, but not always). You can have innocence without ignorance. But you can’t have naivety without ignorance.

They’re sometimes used to me the same thing, sometimes not. Innocent tends to have a positive connotation to it, suggesting purity, and naive a negative one, suggesting credulousness and lack of judgement.

Well……”I think”…the “naive” should know better…but, lack understanding…
…while the “innocent” deserve understanding…….
The “naive” are fair game………where as, the “innocent”…….are innocent …….

A person might lose their innocence………and still be naive

Yes….. innocence has a close link to intentions, whereas naivety is more about ideas and beliefs.

Sure but occasionally they are similar. innocence sounds positive but if you take it that way, it becomes naivety. 🙂

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