Disingenuous refers to behavior that is insincere, dishonest or hypocritical, especially when it is done to conceal one’s true intentions or to manipulate others.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Insincere, deceitful, false, hypocritical, dissembling


Genuine, sincere, honest, straightforward, candid

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun disingenuousness, disingenuousnesses
Verb None
Adjective disingenuous
Adverb disingenuously

Example Sentences

  • I can tell she’s being disingenuous with her compliments because she never actually follows through on what she says.

  • He’s always pretending to be interested in my work, but I know he’s just being disingenuous so he can ask me for favors later on.

  • Her apology seemed disingenuous to me because she kept making excuses and shifting the blame onto others.

  • I don’t trust him because he has a history of being disingenuous with his promises and commitments.


The word “disingenuous” comes from the Latin root word “dis-” which means not or opposite of, and “ingenous” which means genuine or candid. Thus, the word “disingenuous” literally means not genuine or candid.

The term is often used to describe someone who is not sincere in their words or actions, especially if they have ulterior motives or are trying to manipulate others. It can refer to behavior that is deceptive, dishonest, insincere, hypocritical, or dissembling. For example, someone might be disingenuous when they pretend to be interested in a conversation just to gain information or when they make false promises to gain favor.

There are several variations of the word “disingenuous” that can change its meaning slightly. For instance, the prefix “un-” can be added to create “undisingenuous” which means sincere or straightforward. The suffix “-ly” can be added to create “disingenuously” which refers to the way in which someone is being disingenuous. Additionally, the word “disingenuity” can be used to describe the overall quality or nature of someone’s behavior.

Overall, the word “disingenuous” is an important term in our daily lives as it helps us to identify and understand when people are being insincere or dishonest with us. By recognizing this behavior, we can be more cautious and mindful in our interactions with others.