cu·​ri·​ous | \ ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs How to pronounce curious (audio) , ˈkyər- \

Definition of curious

1a : marked by desire to investigate and learn They were curious as to who won the game. The cat was curious about its new environment.
b : marked by inquisitive interest in others' concerns : nosy curious about the neighbors' doings
2 : exciting attention as strange, novel, or unexpected : odd a curious coincidence We were concerned about his curious behavior.
3a archaic : made carefully
b archaic : precisely accurate
c obsolete : abstruse

Other Words from curious

curiousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for curious



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curious, inquisitive, prying mean interested in what is not one's personal or proper concern. curious, a neutral term, basically connotes an active desire to learn or to know. children are curious about everything inquisitive suggests impertinent and habitual curiosity and persistent quizzing. dreaded the visits of their inquisitive relatives prying implies busy meddling and officiousness. prying neighbors who refuse to mind their own business

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Since the 1300s, "curious" has been variously used to describe things that in some way require, invite, or are characterized by carefulness or inquisitiveness. In so doing, it carries on the legacy of its Latin source, the adjective curiosus, meaning "careful" or "inquisitive." The comparative of "curious" is "more curious," though it is not unusual to encounter the phrase "curiouser and curiouser," made popular by the title character of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland who, Lewis Carroll tells us, "was so much surprised that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English."

Examples of curious in a Sentence

The cat was naturally curious about its new surroundings. They were curious to find out who won the game. We're curious about why you never called us. I'm curious to know more about her. She found a curious old clock in the attic. The birds were engaged in some curious behavior. Their music is a curious blend of disco and rock. By a curious coincidence, they bought a house the same day their old one burned down. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Programming through opening weekend brought Native exhibit collaborators to Stanley Field Hall to demonstrate basket-weaving and beadwork techniques, the artists chatting amiably with curious observers. Hannah Edgar, Chicago Tribune, 25 May 2022 This year, that Nadal-Djokovic showdown could come as early as the quarters in one of the most curious French Opens in recent memory. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 22 May 2022 But the ceiling of people who would like to relate to Gstaad Guy humor and who are curious is much higher. Gustaf Lundberg Toresson, Forbes, 22 May 2022 Through it all, Père Lachaise takes the young woman’s side, which is curious, considering that McIntyre’s novel had her acting in defiance of the Vatican. Peter Debruge, Variety, 22 Apr. 2022 As rain pelted the roof of a Carmel horse arena, Jack Zawacki, a smiling and curious 7-year-old, rode Lacey while adorning her mane with barrettes. Kelly Wilkinson, The Indianapolis Star, 12 May 2022 Simply put, this was when the universe at last became clear for study by curious astronomers seeking to learn how exactly the cosmic dawn occurred. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, 10 May 2022 SureStart is giving these students curious about A.I. Regan Stephens, Fortune, 10 May 2022 The experiences brought a new sound with a genre-bending take on meditation music, while also creating a safe space for both curious listeners and experienced meditators alike. Darlene Aderoju, Billboard, 9 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of curious

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for curious

Middle English, from Anglo-French curios, from Latin curiosus careful, inquisitive, from cura cure

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Time Traveler for curious

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

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curiouser and curiouser

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Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Curious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for curious


cu·​ri·​ous | \ ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs How to pronounce curious (audio) \

Kids Definition of curious

1 : eager to learn : inquisitive Curious onlookers gathered at the scene.
2 : showing an eagerness to learn a curious expression
3 : attracting attention by being strange or unusual : odd "… I'm a … collector … and I like to look at curious specimens."— Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg

Other Words from curious

curiously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on curious

Nglish: Translation of curious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curious for Arabic Speakers


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