curiosity

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

Essential Meaning of curiosity

1 : the desire to learn or know more about something or someone Her natural curiosity led her to ask more questions. The arrival of a construction crew at their house attracted/sparked/aroused the curiosity of their neighbors. See More ExamplesThe movie failed to satisfy her curiosity about the assassination. intellectual curiosity He went into the store out of curiosity. [=because he was curious to see what was in the store]Hide
2 : something that is interesting because it is unusual Tobacco was once a curiosity in Europe. The antique shop was full of curiosities.

Full 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

Antonyms

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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 Also, build a culture that embraces risk-taking and curiosity to fuel people's desire to enjoy greater empowerment. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 The driving impetus behind these efforts is more than mere academic curiosity. Nola Taylor Tillman, Scientific American, 11 Oct. 2021 Valverde walks her character from innocuous curiosity to a disturbed state with sturdy naturalness, while Fonzi exudes the glamorous intensity of a classic Hollywood star. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2021 How the parasite exerts such wide-ranging control is a subject of more than casual curiosity among scientists — phytoplasmas can cause destructive disease in crop plants like carrots. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 This curiosity allows for a cheeky, yet insightful glimpse into our humanity and our need for connection and meaning. Jennifer Sodini, Rolling Stone, 29 Sep. 2021 As the dynastic symbols of their country, these families maintain an exclusive line of succession to the throne that have spawned cutthroat internal fights and curiosity worldwide. Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2021 As the dynastic symbols of their country, these families maintain an exclusive line of succession to the throne that have spawned cutthroat internal fights and curiosity worldwide. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Sep. 2021 Now, of course, Ken couldn't help himself and just had to press the buzzer out of sheer curiosity. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, 24 Sep. 2021

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

Time Traveler for curiosity

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near curiosity

curiosa felicitas

curiosity

curioso

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Statistics for curiosity

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Curiosity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curiosity. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for curiosity

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

More from Merriam-Webster on curiosity

Nglish: Translation of curiosity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curiosity for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about curiosity

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