inquisitive

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

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

Synonyms

curious, nosy (or nosey), prying, snoopy

Antonyms

incurious, uncurious

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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

Listed at 6-foot-11 despite appearing taller, with a remarkable 7-9 wingspan and inquisitive nature, the one-and-one Texas star commands a room with ease. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "UT’s Bamba working himself into top of NBA Draft," 15 May 2018 Walker fits that bill, and brings an inquisitive personality and a hardscrabble backstory that should fit in well with his new team. Steve Warns, San Antonio Express-News, "Writers’ roundtable: Who won the NBA Draft, what’s next with Kawhi Leonard," 23 June 2018 Wen is an inquisitive kid who takes the family’s vacation to off-the-grid New Hampshire seriously, studying grasshoppers and having fun being away from school. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Paul Tremblay’s apocalyptic novel The Cabin at the End of the World is a parents’ worst nightmare," 30 June 2018 Peterson has all of the external signifiers of this type of person without any of the inquisitive rigor. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 Simon has long combined the soul of a poet with the inquisitive sense of a musicologist, and those instincts were on full display Sunday. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Paul Simon shines with musical vitality as he says goodbye at DTE," 11 June 2018 Gregarious and inquisitive, the species is thousands of years old, but in recent years its territory has been devoured by agriculture and subdivisions, killing off 90 percent of the population. Kate Santich, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake couple create haven for rare Scrub-Jays and young fans," 6 July 2018 Growing up in a working-class family in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital, Romero developed an early awareness of gender inequality as an inquisitive child who wasn’t afraid to question authority. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Community Activist Who Dresses to Celebrate Her Heritage," 10 July 2018 Keas, inquisitive green parrots native to New Zealand, unabashedly pry open trash can lids, strip the insulation from power lines and duel unarmed windshield wipers on cars. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Humans Created the Ultimate Superpests," 9 July 2018

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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Statistics for inquisitive

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for inquisitive

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

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More Definitions for inquisitive

inquisitive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of inquisitive

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

: asking too many questions about other people's lives

inquisitive

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

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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