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innocence noun

1 being not guilty of a crime, etc.

ADJ. total

VERB + INNOCENCE declare, proclaim The prisoners passionately proclaimed their innocence in front of the jury. | claim She claimed total innocence of all charges. | protest Hayes has protested his innocence throughout the case. | demonstrate, establish, prove | be convinced of The solicitors were convinced of his innocence and urged him to appeal the conviction.

PHRASES in all innocence I asked her the question in all innocence. I didn't know it was going to upset her. | the presumption of innocence (law)

2 lack of knowledge/experience

ADJ. childlike, wide-eyed | lost | injured She replied to her father's accusations in tones of injured innocence. | apparent | mock

VERB + INNOCENCE lose He had lost the innocence of childhood. | retain | take advantage of She had taken advantage of his innocence.

PREP. in your ~ In his innocence he had allowed the salesman in to discuss vacuum cleaners. | with … ~ He grinned with apparent innocence. | ~ about There is an innocence about the story.

PHRASES an air of innocence There was a touching air of innocence about the boy. | a look of innocence, the picture of innocence ‘You cheated!’ ‘I what?’ asked David, the picture of innocence (= pretending to look innocent). | a state of innocence