curiosity

noun
cu·​ri·​os·​i·​ty | \ˌkyu̇r-ē-ˈä-s(ə-)tē, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for curiosity

Synonyms

curiousness, inquisitiveness, nosiness

Antonyms

incuriosity, incuriousness

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Bette Midler and Tony Bennett looked on with curiosity. Chloe Malle, Vogue, "For He’s a Jolly Goodfella! Celebrating Martin Scorsese at Chanel’s MoMA Film Benefit," 20 Nov. 2018 Remember, sweet Pisces, that your characteristic wellsprings of compassion start with curiosity. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes October 2018," 3 Oct. 2018 Mason and Rylan played with rocks and looked on with curiosity at the hundreds of Marines. Melissa Nelson Gabriel, ajc, "Marine honored for saving toddler's life," 2 July 2018 Viktoria Latishova, a 19-year-old waitress in Saransk on the edge of the steppe, rejoiced at meeting an American for the first time, spilling with curiosity despite her limited English. Angela Charlton, The Christian Science Monitor, "World Cup host Russia defies Soviet-era, hostile image with smiles," 20 June 2018 When some strangers approached us and regarded me with curiosity, my father beamed. John Blake, CNN, "The blurring of racial lines won't save America. Why 'racial fluidity' is a con," 11 June 2018 His time on that initial show meshed with a curiosity about childhood development. K. Austin Collins, HWD, "Won’t You Be My Neighbor?," 8 June 2018 Sun Juong, now burning with curiosity, sat up for a closer look. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award runner-up: "Most Best Happy Korean Bright Star" by Michelle Massie," 2 June 2018 This is a week for remembering how to regard the world, and your own life too, with curiosity, with wonder, with a funny kind of surprise. Claire Comstock-gay, The Cut, "Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of May 7," 7 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of curiosity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for curiosity

see curious

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about curiosity

Statistics for curiosity

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curiosity

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on curiosity

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!