inquisitive

adjective
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

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

The Magicians has addressed that trope in its own cheeky, inquisitive way. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""The Magicians" Finale Just Pulled Off Its Most Heart-wrenching Risk Yet," 18 Apr. 2019 By Francesca Lidia Viano Harvard, 577 pages, $35 In her fascinating, digressive and relentlessly inquisitive study, Ms. Viano, an Italian historian, demonstrates that the statue is mysterious and full of surprises. Michael O’donnell, WSJ, "‘Sentinel’ Review: The New Colossus," 9 Nov. 2018 In Shevek, Le Guin creates a thoughtful, imperfect, and inquisitive guide to the two worlds and their textured citizens. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Welcome to Thanksgiving—a holiday marked by overeating, all-too-inquisitive uncles, and catching up on a year’s worth of sleep. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "A Guide to Thanksgiving Beauty Etiquette: From Casually Impressing Old Classmates to Winning Over Parents," 22 Nov. 2018 Cenac approaches multiple community residents and leaders with an inquisitive approach that often yields as much a sense of humanity as humor. Chris Barton, latimes.com, "Wyatt Cenac returns to political comedy with a unique approach to 'Problem Areas' on HBO," 10 May 2018 Symbolized by the archer, this energy is curious, inquisitive, and philosophical. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Cancer Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 Some of these products line the shelves at CVS, where inquisitive shoppers like me can stumble upon them. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "6 Things I Learned From Natural Skin-Care Legend Tata Harper," 25 Sep. 2018 Nothing here is off-limits to inquisitive hands, and the two full floors of exhibits include everything from a veggie and herb garden to a rocket assembly studio. Juliet Izon, Good Housekeeping, "Why Your Kids Will Love a Trip to Philly as Much as the Magic Kingdom," 30 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

1 Jun 2019

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

inquisitive

adjective
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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Comments on inquisitive

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