Innocent vs Dumb - What's the difference?

innocent | dumb |

As adjectives the difference between innocent and dumb

is that innocent is (pure, free from sin, untainted)Free from guilt, sin, or immorality while dumb is unable to speak; lacking power of speech.

As a noun innocent

is those who are innocent; young children.

As a verb dumb is

to silence.




(en adjective)
  • Free from guilt, sin, or immorality.
  • * 1606 , , IV. iii. 16:
  • to offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb
  • Bearing no legal responsibility for a wrongful act.
  • Naive; artless.
  • * 1600 , , V. ii. 37:
  • I can find out no rhyme to / 'lady' but 'baby' – an innocent rhyme;
  • (obsolete) Not harmful; innocuous; harmless.
  • an innocent medicine or remedy
  • * Alexander Pope
  • The spear / Sung innocent , and spent its force in air.
  • Having no knowledge (of something).
  • Lacking (something).
  • Lawful; permitted.
  • an innocent trade
  • Not contraband; not subject to forfeiture.
  • innocent goods carried to a belligerent nation


    * (free from blame or guilt) sackless * (free from sin) pure, untainted * See also


    * (bearing no legal responsibility for a wrongful act) guilty, nocent


    (en noun)
  • Those who are innocent; young children.
  • The slaughter of the innocents was a significant event in the New Testament.



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) dumb, from (etyl) . In ordinary spoken English, a phrase like "He is dumb" is interpreted as "He is stupid" rather than "He lacks the power of speech". The latter example, however, is the original sense of the word. The senses of stupid'', ''unintellectual'', and ''pointless developed under the influence of the (etyl) word dumm.


  • (label) Unable to speak; lacking power of speech.
  • * Hooker
  • to unloose the very tongues even of dumb creatures
  • (label) Silent; unaccompanied by words.
  • dumb show
  • * Shakespeare
  • This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
  • *
  • * J. C. Shairp
  • to pierce into the dumb past
  • extremely stupid.
  • You are so dumb ! You don't even know how to make toast!
  • (label) Pointless, foolish, lacking intellectual content or value.
  • This is dumb ! We're driving in circles! We should have asked for directions an hour ago!
    Brendan had the dumb job of moving boxes from one conveyor belt to another.
  • Lacking brightness or clearness, as a colour.
  • * De Foe
  • Her stern was painted of a dumb white or dun color.
    * (unable to speak) dumbstruck, mute, speechless, wordless * (stupid) feeble-minded, idiotic, moronic, stupid * banal, brainless, dopey, silly, stupid, ridiculous, vulgar
    Derived terms
    * dumb as a box of rocks * dumben * dumbhood * dummy * dumbness

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) dumbien, from (etyl) dumbian (more commonly in compound .


    (en verb)
  • To silence.
  • * 1911 , Lindsay Swift, William Lloyd Garrison , p. 272,
  • The paralysis of the Northern conscience, the dumbing of the Northern voice, were coming to an end.
  • To make stupid.
  • * 2003 , Angela Calabrese Barton, Teaching Science for Social Justice , p. 124,
  • I think she's dumbing us down, so we won't be smarter than her.
  • To represent as stupid.
  • * 2004 , Stephen Oppenheimer, The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa , p. 107,
  • Bad-mouthing Neanderthals . . . is symptomatic of a need to exclude and even demonize. . . . I suggest that the unproven dumbing of the Neanderthals is an example of the same cultural preconception.
  • To reduce the intellectual demands of.
  • * 2002 , Deborah Meier, In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing , p. 126,
  • The ensuing storm caused the department to lower the bar—amid protests that this was dumbing the test down—so that only 80 percent of urban kids would fail.
    Derived terms
    * dumbness * dumb blonde * dumb down * dumbocracy * dumb-show * dumb terminal * dummy * play dumb