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 Gaetz is curious about a campaign-finance reform proposal before the House that would help get money out of politics, in which the government would match small, grass-roots donations by a factor of five, eliminating the need for large donors. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘The Swamp’ looks at political reform through the eyes of an unlikely hero: Rep. Matt Gaetz," 3 Aug. 2020 The timing is curious given antipathy from Capitol Hill, where lawmakers want to boost accountability for Chinese firms floating on U.S. exchanges. David Meyer, Fortune, "Don’t forget the climate crisis, CEOs say," 31 July 2020 The Lodi Estate Grenache Noir is as pale as a rosé, but expands authoritatively across the palate with suggestions of roses, raspberries, persimmons and for some curious reason Parker House rolls. Mike Dunne,, "Find imaginative wines at Prie's tasting room," 13 July 2020 Managing to look effortlessly stylish while braving the LA heat is no easy feat, so fans were naturally curious about Meghan’s cute and comfy white linen dress. Stephanie Perry,, "Fans Are Convinced Meghan Markle Is Wearing This Breezy $76 Dress," 13 July 2020 Fable is both insatiably curious about humans and innocently oblivious to her powers – a combustible combination. oregonlive, "7 books for kids and teens worth a look this summer," 9 July 2020 Despite the glitches, Indians are curious about these apps. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "The ban on TikTok hasn’t turned the fortunes of its made-in-India rivals," 7 July 2020 This being a surveillance project, the researchers naturally were curious about whether the virus could pose a threat to humans. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "As COVID-19 spreads, researchers track an influenza virus nervously," 5 July 2020 Many, however, were curious as to why the couple had chosen to pose on a rock during high tide. Fox News, "California bride, groom rescued after giant wave sweeps them into ocean during wedding photos," 3 July 2020

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

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 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

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