curiosity

noun
cu·​ri·​os·​i·​ty | \ ˌkyu̇r-ē-ˈä-s(ə-)tē How to pronounce curiosity (audio) , ˌkyər-\
plural curiosities

Definition of curiosity

1 : desire to know:
a : inquisitive interest in others' concerns : nosiness The construction inside their house aroused the curiosity of their neighbors.
b : interest leading to inquiry intellectual curiosity Her natural curiosity led her to ask more questions.
2 archaic : undue nicety or fastidiousness
3a : one that arouses interest especially for uncommon or exotic characteristics Tobacco was once regarded as a curiosity in Europe.
b : an unusual knickknack : curio The antique shop was full of curiosities.
c : a curious trait or aspect

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Synonyms & Antonyms for curiosity

Synonyms

curiousness, inquisitiveness, nosiness

Antonyms

incuriosity, incuriousness

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Examples of curiosity in a Sentence

Her natural curiosity led her to ask more questions. The arrival of a construction crew at their house attracted the curiosity of their neighbors. The movie failed to satisfy her curiosity about the assassination. Tobacco was once a curiosity in Europe. The antique shop was full of curiosities.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Yet North Koreans are full of curiosity about the outside world. The Economist, "What life is like for ordinary North Koreans," 26 May 2018 Gendron said she was met with curiosity and a bit of apprehension. Ethan May, Indianapolis Star, "Another dockless scooter service launching Saturday in Indianapolis," 22 June 2018 Many times our listening skills will lead us to degrees in psychology, curiosity to degrees in journalism, leading in teaching careers. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "What Should You Study in College? How To Choose Your Major," 9 Apr. 2019 Distance vision is now developing, and this eye contact is the first sign of curiosity and a potential desire to travel. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "When Do Babies Crawl? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 28 Jan. 2019 Bell approaches each episode with a mixture of genuine curiosity and lightheartedness, frequently weaving in his signature comedic style. Pilot Viruet, The Verge, "The 12 best overlooked TV shows of 2018," 14 Dec. 2018 For Stanton, such curiosity about finding the right path in a cave seems to motivate him. Danica Kirka, Fox News, "British divers bring experience to Thai cave drama," 4 July 2018 There was a certain kind of confidence that came from the success, and also a real curiosity about the new technology that was really coming to the fore. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "Shirley Manson Looks Back On 20 Years of Garbage's 'Sci-Fi Pop' Odyssey, 'Version 2.0'," 29 May 2018 There’s a genuine curiosity about whatever came before. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hanoi, Time and Again," 20 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curiosity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of curiosity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for curiosity

see curious

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Learn More about curiosity

Statistics for curiosity

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curiosity

The first known use of curiosity was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for curiosity

curiosity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of curiosity

: the desire to learn or know more about something or someone
: something that is interesting because it is unusual

curiosity

noun
cu·​ri·​os·​i·​ty | \ ˌkyu̇r-ē-ˈä-sə-tē How to pronounce curiosity (audio) \
plural curiosities

Kids Definition of curiosity

1 : an eager desire to learn and often to learn things that are another's concern “What's happening?” he asked with curiosity.
2 : something strange or unusual They both sat looking at Harriet as though she were a curiosity put on television to entertain them.— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy
3 : an object or article valued because it is strange or rare

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Comments on curiosity

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