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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for curiosity



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 Beyond that sense of curiosity, this long-gestating potion doesn't justify all the toil and trouble. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The Witches' brews up a weak remake of Roald Dahl's dark story," 22 Oct. 2020 Such secrecy has done nothing but stoke the fire of curiosity. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Could Utah have two starters at quarterback?," 20 Oct. 2020 Willie has an innate curiosity to know how everything works and loves to build things with Legos and Magnetics. Star Tribune, "Minnesota's Waiting Children: Siblings want to stay together," 18 Oct. 2020 Conversely, other bees exhibit a learning behavior marked by curiosity. Chelsea Cook, The Conversation, "Some bees are born curious while others are more single-minded – new research hints at how the hive picks which flowers to feast on," 5 Oct. 2020 Throughout, the Greek and international media treated Golden Dawn—whose members were blamed for the violence but remained at large—with curiosity. Yiannis Baboulias, The Atlantic, "Lessons From Defeating the Far Right," 8 Oct. 2020 Suspecting the package contained money or drugs and overcome with curiosity, Senda unwrapped the package only to discover a brain -- along with pink flowers and foreign money. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Wisconsin man shocked to discover a brain washed up on the beach," 20 Sep. 2020 On Tuesday, when much of the park was shuttered and crowds were thin, the Laskis family of Scottsdale, Ariz., looked with curiosity at the building that will house the Comic-Con Museum. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Comic-Con reveals museum plans, prepares for summer 2021 opening," 10 Sep. 2020 Castiglione evokes serenity but with sparkling blue eyes appraising the viewer with curiosity. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "In Rome, the Definitive Raphael Show: Raffaello: 1520–1483," 2 Sep. 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.

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

Time Traveler for curiosity

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for curiosity

Last Updated

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curiosity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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