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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Because anything that comes out of the studio should be reflective of the inquisitive and rigorous values that drive the work. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Read, be inquisitive, ask for help, then roll up your sleeves and do the work. Meimei Fox, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2022 Who Needs to Hear This… is a rumination of feelings; a collection of songs steeped in inquisitive folk and dense instrumentation that often stretch to the five-minute mark. Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 14 Apr. 2022 By mastering inquisitive inquiry, active listening, understanding, relating and engaging skills, business development leaders can build and maintain connection, even virtually. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 25 Mar. 2022 The Cambridge kids seem to be a very inquisitive bunch. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 9 Mar. 2022 With the inquisitive Moon moving into chatty Gemini at 5:27 am EST, grabbing at new information is instinctive for many of us. Tarot Astrologers,, 9 Feb. 2022 Be inquisitive about the different ways that things might go, and come up with ideas for handling those scenarios. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 The day Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nuclear forces placed on high alert late last month was a big one for some parents with inquisitive kids. Leanne Italie, Chron, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inquisitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for inquisitive


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

More from Merriam-Webster on inquisitive

Nglish: Translation of inquisitive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inquisitive for Arabic Speakers


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