curious

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

Essential Meaning of curious

1 : having a desire to learn or know more about something or someone The cat was naturally curious about its new surroundings. They were curious to find out who won the game. See More ExamplesWe're curious about why you never called us. The curious [=inquisitive] reader can find more information in the back of the book. I'm curious to know more about her.Hide
2 : strange, unusual, or unexpected She found a curious old clock in the attic. That's curious [=weird, strange, odd]—I thought I left my keys right here. See More ExamplesThe 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. The story of what really happened to them that day gets curiouser and curiouser. [=stranger and stranger]Hide

Full 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

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But Riley was curious about the difference in air quality levels across neighborhoods, which the lone monitor set up by the EPA could not capture. Ayushi Agarwal, ABC News, 2 Dec. 2021 For competitive reasons, journalists are frequently curious about what rivals are working on, although a phone call for that reason would likely result in an angry hang-up. David Bauder, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Dec. 2021 But iBuying has been influential enough that many sellers are curious about it — even professional home flippers. New York Times, 19 Nov. 2021 The Constitution project has brought in some members who have been curious about DAOs. Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2021 Should just anyone who's curious about death be able to raise their hand and be counted as a student? Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 12 Nov. 2021 Create a psychologically safe environment, then get seriously curious. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 First among them is Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, who, true to comic-book form, has a penchant for hiding in plain sight in a series of wigs and is curious about the man behind Batman’s trademark cowl. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 16 Oct. 2021 Now a parent herself, Moore said her children are curious about their grandfather. Joseph Diaz, ABC News, 5 Nov. 2021

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.

See More

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

Learn More About curious

Time Traveler for curious

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About curious

Dictionary Entries Near curious

curioso

curious

curiouser and curiouser

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for curious

Last Updated

5 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Curious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curious. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for curious

curious

adjective
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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!