Word of the Day – Disingenuous

Word of the Day : April 29, 2020


adjective dis-in-JEN-yuh-wuss


  • lacking in candoralso : giving a false appearance of simple frankness : calculating

Did You Know?

A disingenuous remark might contain some superficial truth, but it is delivered with the intent to deceive or to serve some hidden purpose. Its base word ingenuous (derived from a Latin adjective meaning “native” or “freeborn”) can describe someone who, like a child, is innocent or lacking guile or craftiness. English speakers began frequently joining the negative prefix dis- with ingenuous to create disingenuous during the 17th century.


“There are plenty of ways to be passive aggressive toward someone on their birthday, including … making a disingenuous comment about whatever he is doing for his special day when you know you aren’t invited….” — Sylvan Lane, Mashable, 27 June 2014

“We talked to some behavioural experts to understand why a colleague may be acting ‘fake,’ and how to work with it…. If someone seems disingenuous, it tends to come from a sense of inadequacy, and understanding that is the first step on the road to acceptance.” — Isabella Krebet, ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 10 Feb. 2020

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day