cu·ri·ous | \ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs, ˈkyər-\

Definition of curious 

1a archaic : made carefully

b obsolete : abstruse

c archaic : precisely accurate

2a : 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

3 : exciting attention as strange, novel, or unexpected : odd a curious coincidence We were concerned about his curious behavior.

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Other Words from curious

curiousness noun

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

Physicians are problem-solvers and tinkerers, creative and curious scientists at heart, and often lifelong learners. Alexi Nazem, STAT, "Health care needs more physician CEOs like Atul Gawande," 13 July 2018 For another, House elections are generally referendums on the sitting president, and everyone is curious to see whether he will be administered an undeniable rebuke by the public for his many outrages. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "To Conservatives Hoping to Salvage the Trump Era, Keeping the Senate Is Key," 16 Apr. 2018 But VanDerSnick is curious to see how well the new five-game packages are received. Indianapolis Star, "Colts on selling tickets: 'We've got our work cut out for us'," 25 June 2018 Scott Learn, 54, who worked for The Oregonian and is now a state auditor, is curious how each dollar spent on affordable housing is accounted for., "Several candidates vie to replace Loretta Smith, Multnomah County auditor," 4 May 2018 Another curious find from the recent study was traces of bracken, a type of fern, in Ötzi’s stomach. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Before He Died, Ötzi the Iceman Ate a Greasy, Fatty Meal," 13 July 2018 If all goes according to plan, two spacecraft will commence close encounters of the curious kind with two separate asteroids by the end of August. Jeremy Hsu, Scientific American, "Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Nears Its Target, the Asteroid Ryugu," 26 June 2018 Players are curious about how the new rule will be officiated. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen not a long shot to start over Sam Bradford," 24 May 2018 Researchers on the West Coast were curious about the donor’s pancreas, but wanted to know the condition and the size of the organ before accepting it. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "'This room becomes sacred.' The heroic and heartbreaking journey of one organ donor's body," 17 May 2018

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 1a

History and Etymology for curious

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

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Phrases Related to curious

curiouser and curiouser

Statistics for curious

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curious

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

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More Definitions for curious



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 \

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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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).


not any or not one

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