adjective in·quis·i·tive \ in-ˈkwi-zə-tiv \
|Updated on: 13 Jul 2018

Definition of inquisitive

1 : given to examination or investigation
2 : inclined to ask questions; especially : inordinately or improperly curious about the affairs of others





Examples of inquisitive in a Sentence

  1. … but now, with the wanderings of the fleets and their inquisitive occupants producing words from all over, the English vocabulary was enhanced not merely by the usual suspects but by words from India and Turkey, Arabia and Malaya, Japan and the native peoples of North America … —Simon WinchesterThe Meaning of Everything2003
  2. It's partly because humans are naturally inquisitive and exploratory but also, and more significant, because we need the unknown, what historians of religion call "otherness," to lend our lives significance. —David Nicholson-LordNation6 Oct. 1997
  3. Inquisitive eyes reveal the dingo's true nature—it's a hunter, from its cocked ears and powerful jaws to the white tip of its tail. —Mitch ReardonAustralian GeographicJuly–September 1992
  4. an inquisitive woman who tends to everybody's business but her own

Recent Examples of inquisitive from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inquisitive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of inquisitive

Synonym Discussion of inquisitive

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

INQUISITIVE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of inquisitive for English Language Learners

  • : tending to ask questions : having a desire to know or learn more

  • : asking too many questions about other people's lives

INQUISITIVE Defined for Kids


adjective in·quis·i·tive \ in-ˈkwi-zə-tiv \

Definition of inquisitive for Students

1 : in search of information
  • … there will be crowds of scientists and other inquisitive people …
  • —Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg
2 : overly curious



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