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



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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 TheBrainScoop Emily Grassley, chief curiosity correspondent for the Field Museum in Chicago, shares the work and research of natural history museums with the world. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "We are all teachers now: resources for parents and kids cooped up at home," 20 Mar. 2020 One way to test whether satisfying one’s curiosity is rude is to consider what would happen if the tables were turned. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Readers ask, answer questions about race," 19 Mar. 2020 In a little more than a decade, Yacht Rock Revue has gone from Atlanta bar-band curiosity to an act whose popularity has encouraged yacht rock stars themselves to join the band onstage. Ben Crandell,, "When Fort Lauderdale will be the yacht rock capital of the world," 7 Nov. 2019 Curioporium, a curiosity shop focusing on occult and esoteric items, opened just last year. Susan Dunne,, "A early peek at Open Studio Hartford: Meet six of the artists and their artwork," 4 Nov. 2019 Inspired by a suggestion from former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown, Bushnell entered the head-spinning world of Tinder, cubbing and the Mona Lisa Treatment with her eyes open and her journalist’s curiosity on high alert. San Diego Union-Tribune, "What happened when ‘Sex and the City’ author Candace Bushnell jumped back in the dating pool," 24 Sep. 2019 Two decades after his first curiosity project, Ayala—now at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston—is still studying the cancer-nerve relationship and has begun to pursue possible therapies. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "How the body’s nerves become accomplices in the spread of cancer," 12 Sep. 2019 As the curiosity swirls, the Raiders haven’t wanted to let peering eyes in. Jenny Vrentas And Greg Bishop,, "The Raiders Are Jon Gruden’s Show Now," 6 Sep. 2019 The Indianapolis native has an insatiable curiosity for how things work. Sarah Bowman, IndyStar, "The White River: Cleanup follows decades of civil rights abuses. Now who will benefit?," 2 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for curiosity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for curiosity

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curiosity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for curiosity


How to pronounce curiosity (audio)

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


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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