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I'm looking for a word to describe someone that is easily persuaded to believe things that they are aware is likely to be too good to be true. Something along the lines of an optimistic cynic, perhaps? More specifically, someone who expects the worse but wants to believe in things so badly that they allow their gullible side to override their common sense.

EDIT: To clarify, this differs from A word for a worldly wise person who pretends to be naïve? in that this person isn't necessarily worldly wise and is not pretending to be naive; their gullibility arises more from desperately hoping their belief will be justified. There is no intention to deceive others into thinking that they are more gullible than they actually are.

EDIT 2: Having looked at various answers linked in the comments, further clarification is needed; the person in question is not Pollyannaish in that they are aware that what they are believing in might not be logical, but because they are hoping against hope that this is true, the end result is a sense of gullibility.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers single-word-requests Oct 27 '14 at 16:43

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This can be seen in two ways;

First, if the person can easily identify the threat involved, and yet goes along with it for the sake of adventure or challenge, then the following may apply:

  • Adventurous
  • Daredevil
  • Audacious

But, if the person can identify the threat involved, and yet goes along with it, grabbing on a thin rope of hope that it might turn out to be true, or to find something good in the object involved, then the following may apply:

  • Opportunist
  • Optimist

It's not an exact match, but whereas a person who is ingenuous is naive and trusting, a person who is disingenuous is someone who puts on a false act of being naive and trusting. If you deliberately accept as true things that you know are likely to be false, you might fairly be accused of the latter.

  • You beat me by a few seconds. :) – Ali Caglayan Oct 27 '14 at 16:42
  • @Alizter LOL, I've definitely been on the other side of that before... – Chris Sunami Oct 27 '14 at 16:43

The word gullible is synonymous with naive. And somebody who is intentionally naive is disingenuous.

A word for intentionally naive has been asked before:

A word for a worldly wise person who pretends to be naïve?

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