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

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Other Words from curious

curiousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for curious



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Choose the Right Synonym for curious

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

Did You Know?

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web But while America waits, there's something that many of you, our Article II listeners, have been curious about. NBC News, "Transcript: The Chief Justice Shall Preside," 13 Jan. 2020 Was curious about the balcony perspective because during a visit to Mars Music Hall earlier last week, that seemed like an ideal place to watch a show. Matt Wake |, al, "Here’s what a concert at VBC’s new music hall is like," 7 Jan. 2020 If only more internet science writing could be as curious and original. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, "Our favorite science and tech stories of 2019," 31 Dec. 2019 MJ Gottlieb created the app Loosid to connect recovering addicts and the sober curious. CBS News, ""Sober curious" Americans are reshaping nightlife: "I actually have more fun without alcohol"," 18 Dec. 2019 At least Woods gets to talk about Alaska a lot, because people are curious about the wrestler who grew up above the Arctic Circle. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "From above the Arctic Circle comes a wrestler who likes to throw some weight around," 15 Dec. 2019 Long’s colleagues in the forensics unit were curious about just what the procedure would do to his DNA. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "A human chimera shows why DNA evidence is questionable," 7 Dec. 2019 Players waiting their turns — and a few of the curious who just came for a cheeseburger — let out an occasional gasp as Shakira’s white pieces begin to outnumber Cheese’s black ones. Marie Fazio,, "Chess and cheeseburgers: Grade school students test themselves against the masters at a South Side McDonald’s," 4 Oct. 2019 About 20 people broke from among revelers and the curious at the Rachel gate and rushed forward, but stopped short. Fox News, "Cow, car collide on Nevada's 'Extraterrestrial Highway' near 'Storm Area 51' events," 22 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curious.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for curious


How to pronounce curious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of curious

: having a desire to learn or know more about something or someone
: strange, unusual, or unexpected


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on curious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for curious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curious

Spanish Central: Translation of curious

Nglish: Translation of curious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on curious

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


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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