Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective cu·ri·ous \ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs\

Simple Definition of curious

  • : having a desire to learn or know more about something or someone

  • : strange, unusual, or unexpected

Full Definition of curious

  1. 1 a archaic :  made carefully b obsolete :  abstruse c archaic :  precisely accurate

  2. 2 a :  marked by desire to investigate and learn b :  marked by inquisitive interest in others' concerns :  nosy

  3. 3 :  exciting attention as strange, novel, or unexpected :  odd <a curious coincidence>

cu·ri·ous·ness noun

Examples of curious

  1. The cat was naturally curious about its new surroundings.

  2. They were curious to find out who won the game.

  3. We're curious about why you never called us.

  4. I'm curious to know more about her.

  5. She found a curious old clock in the attic.

  6. The birds were engaged in some curious behavior.

  7. Their music is a curious blend of disco and rock.

  8. By a curious coincidence, they bought a house the same day their old one burned down.

Origin of curious

Middle English, from Anglo-French curios, from Latin curiosus careful, inquisitive, from cura cure

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of curious

curious, inquisitive, prying mean interested in what is not one's personal or proper concern. curious, a neutral term, basically connotes an active desire to learn or to know <children are curious about everything>. inquisitive suggests impertinent and habitual curiosity and persistent quizzing <dreaded the visits of their inquisitive relatives>. prying implies busy meddling and officiousness <prying neighbors who refuse to mind their own business>.

Rhymes with curious

CURIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective cu·ri·ous \ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs\

Definition of curious

  1. 1 :  eager to learn :  inquisitive <Curious onlookers gathered at the scene.>

  2. 2 :  showing an eagerness to learn <a curious expression>

  3. 3 :  attracting attention by being strange or unusual :  odd <“… I'm a … collector … and I like to look at curious specimens.” — Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg>

cu·ri·ous·ly adverb

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up curious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.