in·​quis·​i·​tive | \ in-ˈkwi-zə-tiv How to pronounce inquisitive (audio) \

Definition of inquisitive

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

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Other Words from inquisitive

inquisitively adverb
inquisitiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for inquisitive



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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of inquisitive in a Sentence

… 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 Winchester, The Meaning of Everything, 2003 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-Lord, Nation, 6 Oct. 1997 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 Reardon, Australian Geographic, July–September 1992 an inquisitive woman who tends to everybody's business but her own
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Recent Examples on the Web Naturally inquisitive, and always in search of ways to relate to kids these days, Popovich wandered over to engage. Jeff Mcdonald,, "‘He’s very hip:’ How 71-year-old Gregg Popovich is finding ways to bond with his youngest roster ever," 24 Dec. 2020 At 68, his hair gone gray, Byrne is still a little kid — open and inquisitive, weird and silly, and unable to keep still if not exactly able to dance. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Wink and the Fist," 21 Oct. 2020 Its story follows a toymaker in a rut who is inspired to reconnect with his work by the arrival of his young and inquisitive granddaughter. Keyaira Boone, Essence, "Can't Get Even Enough Of 'Jingle Jangle'? The Paley Center Is Taking You Behind-The-Scenes," 10 Dec. 2020 His contention is that whiskey drinkers are more inquisitive than ever, so timing seems right for this book. Marc Bona, cleveland, "45 cooking, beer, wine, recipe books – 2020 holiday gift guide," 7 Dec. 2020 The second Republican on the board, Aaron Van Langevelde, was inquisitive throughout the hearing and repeatedly asked speakers on both sides of the debate about their thoughts about the board of canvassers’ authority. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Michigan state canvassers vote to certify the election in blow to Trump," 23 Nov. 2020 Connery aged well as an actor, crafting more diverse and inquisitive portraits of masculinity. Jake Coyle, The Christian Science Monitor, "Sean Connery: A legacy that defined masculinity in a bygone era," 1 Nov. 2020 But behind all that bluster lies an intelligent and inquisitive bird that devotes just as much energy to its lifelong mate and especially their young. René A. Guzman,, "San Antonio’s blue jay birds have a bold color and a brash bird call to match their attitude," 10 Nov. 2020 There are actually 20some Baer specials that take his inquisitive, architectural docent’s mind throughout Chicagoland, forever finding some new hook on which to hang a TV hour, some new historical tidbit to share with viewers. Steve Johnson,, "Review: WTTW’s ‘Chicago from the Air’ gives a drone’s-eye view of the city, region," 18 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of inquisitive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inquisitive

see inquisition

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Time Traveler for inquisitive

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

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Statistics for inquisitive

Last Updated

27 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inquisitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for inquisitive


How to pronounce inquisitive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inquisitive

: tending to ask questions : having a desire to know or learn more
disapproving : asking too many questions about other people's lives


in·​quis·​i·​tive | \ in-ˈkwi-zə-tiv How to pronounce inquisitive (audio) \

Kids Definition of inquisitive

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

Other Words from inquisitive

inquisitively adverb

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