In*gen"u*ous (?), a. [L. ingenuus inborn, innate, freeborn, noble, frank; pref. in- in + the root of gignere to beget. See Genius, and cf. Ingenious.]
Of honorable extraction; freeborn; noble; as, ingenuous blood of birth.
Noble; generous; magnanimous; honorable; uprigth; high-minded; as, an ingenuous ardor or zeal.
If an ingenuous detestation of falsehood be but carefully and early instilled, that is the true and genuin method to obviate dishonesty.
Free from reserve, disguise, equivocation, or dissimulation; open; frank; sa, an ingenuous man; an ingenuous declaration, confession, etc.
Sensible in myself . . . what a burden it is for me, who would be ingenuous, to be loaded with courtesies which he hath not the least hope to requite or deserve.
(Formerly) printers did not discriminate between . . . ingenuous and ingenious, and these words were used or rather printed interchangeably almost to the begining of the eighteenth century.
G. P. Marsh.
Syn. -- Open; frank; unreserved; artless; plain; sincere; candid; fair; noble; generous. -- Ingenuous, Open, Frank. One who is open speaks out at once what is uppermost in his mind; one who is frank does it from a natural boldness, or dislike of self-restraint; one who is ingenuous is actuated by a native simplicity and artlessness, which make him willing to confess faults, and make known his sentiments without reserve. See Candid.
© Webster 1913.