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inquisitive

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adjective in·quis·i·tive \in-ˈkwi-zə-tiv\

Simple Definition of inquisitive

  • : tending to ask questions : having a desire to know or learn more

  • : asking too many questions about other people's lives

Full Definition of inquisitive

  1. 1 :  given to examination or investigation

  2. 2 :  inclined to ask questions; especially :  inordinately or improperly curious about the affairs of others

in·quis·i·tive·ly adverb
in·quis·i·tive·ness noun

Examples of inquisitive

  1. … but now, with the wanderings of the fleets and their inquisitive occupants producing words from all over, the English vocabulary was enhanced not merely by the usual suspects but by words from India and Turkey, Arabia and Malaya, Japan and the native peoples of North America … —Simon Winchester, The Meaning of Everything, 2003

  2. It's partly because humans are naturally inquisitive and exploratory but also, and more significant, because we need the unknown, what historians of religion call “otherness,” to lend our lives significance. —David Nicholson-Lord, Nation, 6 Oct. 1997

  3. Inquisitive eyes reveal the dingo's true nature—it's a hunter, from its cocked ears and powerful jaws to the white tip of its tail. —Mitch Reardon, Australian Geographic, July–September 1992

  4. <an inquisitive woman who tends to everybody's business but her own>



Origin of inquisitive

(see inquisition)


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of inquisitive

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>.


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