Difference Between Ignorant and Naive

Key Difference – Ignorant vs Naive

Ignorant and naive are adjectives that describe the lack of knowledge and experience. Although both these adjectives refer to a lack of wisdom or experience, there is a subtle difference between ignorant and naive. Naïve implies a lack of worldly experience whereas ignorant implies a lack of knowledge. This is the main difference between ignorant and naïve.

What is Ignorant?

Ignorant comes from the noun ignorance. This adjective refers to the lack of knowledge, information or awareness. Thus, it also implies a lack of education and sophistication. This adjective has a negative meaning and can be used in a pejorative sense.

He is ignorant of the rules and regulations of the school.

She is an ignorant old racist.

I pretended to be ignorant.

That rude, ignorant man laughed at me.

The king was ignorant of the plan to assassinate him.

The women he hired were vulgar and ignorant.

It is interesting to note that this adjective can indicate two slightly different meanings based on its positions.

When ignorant is used as an attributive adjective, it gives connotations such as uneducatedness and unsophistication. For example,

That rude, ignorant woman doesn’t understand anything.

But, when   ignorant is used as a predicative adjective, it usually refers to a lack of knowledge or information.

He was ignorant of the rules.

Key Difference - Ignorant vs Naive

The old farmers were ignorant of the new farming methods.

What is Naive?

Naive refers to the lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment. A simple, gullible person can be described as naive. Naive also refers to the immaturity of a person. A naive person can be easily misled or cheated. However, this adjective does not have less negative connotations than ignorant. This is because naive implies that a person has the capacity to know and learn. The following examples will help you to understand the meanings and usage of naive more clearly.

She is young and naive, but she has time to learn.

That naive young man was easily misled.

He asked a lot of naive questions.

She is so naive that she doesn’t understand he’s toying with her.

Difference Between Ignorant and Naive

She was naive enough to believe his lies.

What is the difference between Ignorant and Naive?


Ignorant implies a lack of knowledge or awareness.

Naive implies a lack of experience.


Ignorant is synonymous with uneducated, uninformed, foolish, etc.

Naive is synonymous with gullible, innocent, inexperienced, immature, etc.

Negative Connotations:

Ignorant is more negative than naive.

Naive is a more positive term than ignorant.


Ignorant is the adjective of ignorance

Naive is the adjective of naivety.

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