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


curiousness, inquisitiveness, nosiness


incuriosity, incuriousness

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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 curiosity can be annoying, says Brittany Nelson, 25, who wears a ring from Bankwest. Mike Cherney, WSJ, "You Can Now Buy Stuff With a Ring, If Anyone Believes You," 23 Sep. 2018 Here's another scheduling curiosity: The Rangers are coming back here in two weeks. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: How an ageless wonder and a bunch of whiz kids teamed up to beat Seattle | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 May 2018 However, the caller's initial curiosity and discomfort with their presence was less surprising, said Mr. Taylor, of Minneapolis. Mary Hudetz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Suspicions of Native American teens point to cultural disconnect," 14 May 2018 For the most part, intellectual curiosity rather than emotional investment has been viewers’ primary drive. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: What's in 'The Valley Beyond'?," 29 Apr. 2018 Whether any documents in Smrt’s possession could satisfy Hasselbacher’s curiosity is conjecture. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Judge suspects University of Louisville has been 'hiding the ball' with public records," 14 Apr. 2018 That curiosity and his easy-going manner were on display as Goldner met with Fortune recently at the International Toy Fair in New York. Susie Gharib, Fortune, "Hasbro's Toy Chest Fills Up Thanks to Inspiring Leadership," 9 Apr. 2018 Yet Coogler said his friend's curiosity is genuine. Mikael Wood,, "Meet the Swedish producer who helped take Childish Gambino to the Grammys," 26 Jan. 2018 Yet North Koreans are full of curiosity about the outside world. The Economist, "What life is like for ordinary North Koreans," 26 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.

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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

Statistics for curiosity

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curiosity

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

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More Definitions for curiosity



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

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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