Open main menu




dis- +‎ ingenuous


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˌdɪs.ɪn.ˈdʒɛn.ju.əs/
  • (file)
  • (file)


disingenuous (comparative more disingenuous, superlative most disingenuous)

  1. Not noble; unbecoming true honor or dignity; mean; unworthy; fake or deceptive.
  2. Not ingenuous; not frank or open; uncandid; unworthily or meanly artful.
    • 1726, William Broome, The Poems of Alexander Pope: The Odyssey of Homer. Books XIII-XXIV, edited by Maynard Mack, Methuen, 1969, volume 10, page 378:
      I am not so vain as to think these Remarks free from faults, nor so disingenuous as not to confess them:
  3. Assuming a pose of naïveté to make a point or for deception.
    • 2012 March 1, William E. Carter, Merri Sue Carter, “The British Longitude Act Reconsidered”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 87:
      But was it responsible governance to pass the Longitude Act without other efforts to protect British seamen? Or might it have been subterfuge—a disingenuous attempt to shift attention away from the realities of their life at sea.

Usage notesEdit

  • Nouns to which "disingenuous" is often applied: attempt, argument, statement, conduct, people, excuse, question, assertion.

Derived termsEdit


Further readingEdit