curious

adjective

cu·​ri·​ous ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs How to pronounce curious (audio)
ˈkyər-
1
a
: 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.
3
a
archaic : made carefully
b
archaic : precisely accurate
c
obsolete : abstruse
curiousness noun

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."

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The sprawling exhibit celebrates the wild and curious imagination of 18th century British poet and author Lewis Carroll. Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News, 11 July 2024 Even when guarded by plastic shields, curious little fingers will inevitably attempt to reach inside, so the foam gives me peace of mind. Emily Hochberg, Parents, 11 July 2024 If nothing else, it’s left me curious about what evolution The Bear might undergo next. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 July 2024 As the show progresses, Mark makes curious discoveries that call into question the intentions of the company. Jaden Thompson, Variety, 10 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for curious 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'curious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near curious

Cite this Entry

“Curious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curious. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

curious

adjective
cu·​ri·​ous ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs How to pronounce curious (audio)
1
: eager to learn
a cat curious about its new surroundings
2
3
: attracting attention by being strange or unusual : odd
a curious old coin
that's curious—they were here yesterday
curiously adverb
curiousness noun
Etymology

Middle English curious "made carefully, skillful, eager to learn," from early French curios (same meaning), from Latin curiosus "careful, inquisitive," from cura "care, healing" — related to accurate, cure

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