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illustration Ingenue



Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, 19th century


An innocent or naive young woman


A role in a play or performance portraying a naive, young female character

Examples of Ingenue in a sentence

"Though she certainly had her charms, my friend's latest girlfriend was a bit of an ingenue when it came to the real world."

"The Acadamy Award-winning actress became famous for playing an ingenue who slowly educates herself and takes command of her independence."

illustration Ingenue

About Ingenue

The character of Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was directly inspired by the daughter of the author's boss. Lewis Carrooll taught mathematics at Oxford college when he began writing the story. He went on to become close with the school's dean and his family, eventually getting to know the children-- including the real-life Alice.

Did you Know?

The first use of "ingenue" appeared in the 1848 novel Vanity Fair, describing an ambitious, worldly character named Becky-- not what we would consider an ingenue today.

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