from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or quality of being artless.
  • n. The state or quality of being innocent; naivete.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality of being artless, or void of art or guile; simplicity; sincerity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being artless; simplicity; sincerity; unaffectedness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the quality of innocent naivete
  • n. ingenuousness by virtue of being free from artful deceit


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • ‘Oh! a beautiful cousin, Mr. Caveton!’ replies the young lady, with that perfect artlessness which is the distinguishing characteristic of all young ladies; ‘an affair, of course.’

    Sketches by Boz

  • Canalis, like Nodier, enchants the reader by an artlessness which is genuine in the prose writer and artificial in the poet, by his tact, his smile, the shedding of his rose-leaves, in short by his infantile philosophy.

    Modeste Mignon

  • Her golden-brown shining hair waved back from a side parting with that carefully contrived artlessness which is the crowning achievement of a coiffeur, and in colour it exactly matched her soft frock, which was of the sports variety with a finely pleated skirt.


  • 'Oh! a beautiful cousin, Mr. Caveton!' replies the young lady, with that perfect artlessness which is the distinguishing characteristic of all young ladies; 'an affair, of course.'

    Sketches by Boz, illustrative of everyday life and every-day people

  • In contrast to the image of the poet as the orderer, the craftsman, the poets of the _Fragments_ have a kind of artlessness (to us a very studied one, to be sure) that gave them an aura of sincerity and honesty.

    Fragments of Ancient Poetry

  • During the first twenty minutes or so, I wasn't sure I would make it through the entire movie -- it was, I thought, similar in style to a kind of movie I find unbearable: a style based on long handheld shots, a soundtrack that contains little or no music and lots of environmental sounds characters breathing, eating, walking, and a general attitude that seems to fetishize "artlessness", though offers little to replace the art it so disdains.

    4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

  • But this is not all; beneath the wonderful singing quality are form, compression, reserve force, meaning; the spontaneity now is that apparent artlessness which is the triumph of the lyrical art. "

    The Stranger at the Gate

  • Thurston Moore's music has ridden far on his goofy charm and teenage enthusiasms, his apparent artlessness arguably his strongest suit.

    This week's new live music

  • This, this is why, with the artlessness of a little child, kneeling in quiet faith before this Scripture, I rejoice in my soul and thank God.

    Modern Science in the Bible

  • Whether you think his calculated artlessness reinvented British urban music or just took the mickey a bit, Skinner has remained true to himself.

    The Streets: Computers and Blues - review


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