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 The signal was thought to be a telescope artifact, a trick of light masquerading as a cosmic curiosity. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "A Mysterious Rhythm Is Coming From Another Galaxy," 26 June 2020 The Look was a particular type of glance Gray got often—a combination of burning curiosity barely masked by bogus nonchalance. David Canfield,, "First look: Frankly in Love breakout David Yoon returns with another fizzy rom-com," 22 June 2020 Books, after all, pique curiosity and indulges interests, and aren't those the perfect gifts? Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Looking for a last-minute Father's Day gift? 6 books to get dads and father figures," 20 June 2020 But my desire for privacy has finally given way to your insatiable curiosity about what’s growing on in Your Hero’s yard. Steve Bender, Southern Living, "Welcome to Grumpy’s Garden," 17 June 2020 In the 19th century, scientists moved away from the random collections of curiosity cabinets to a more systematic study of the natural world. Quanta Magazine, "The Two Forms of Mathematical Beauty," 16 June 2020 Darwin’s curiosity was piqued by its similarity to a species of agouti, a rodent native to South America. National Geographic, "Darwin's first—and only—trip around the world began a scientific revolution," 11 June 2020 When Watkins informed residents through his personal Facebook page about the event, the post prompted more than 350 shares and 600 comments, which ranged from curiosity to praise to fear. Logan Jaffe, ProPublica, "A Sundown Town Sees Its First Black Lives Matter Protest," 12 June 2020 Weather is often the first science that kids learn and can inspire curiosity in other areas of science too. Rebecca Renner, National Geographic, "Don’t let children just watch the weather—have them create it instead.," 10 June 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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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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Statistics for curiosity

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curiosity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 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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