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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from inquisitive

inquisitively adverb
inquisitiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for inquisitive



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web This winter, a new milk mustache began appearing in national advertisements, worn by an inquisitive Timothée Chalamet look-alike. New York Times, "The Milk Situation," 14 Mar. 2020 Tan has dark hair, inquisitive eyes and a casual style of dress that allows him to easily blend into a crowd. Justin Phillips,, "How Burma Superstar’s quiet founder created a Burmese food empire," 6 Mar. 2020 Let your inquisitive nature take over and start the process of discovery. oregonlive, "Horoscope for Feb. 28, 2020: Gemini, be a true detective; Pisces, trust your judgement," 28 Feb. 2020 Sylvia was a lifelong learner who was inquisitive, philosophizing about life and engaging in political topics., "Sylvia Pilver," 11 Oct. 2019 In between long-winded toasts and generous refills of amber wine, Frank’s jovial, inquisitive nature fostered the kind of open conversation typically reserved for one’s inner circle. Lizzie Noonan, Bon Appétit, "We'd Get on a Plane to PDX for Dana Frank's New Natural Wine Fair," 28 Feb. 2020 So finding candidates who are enthusiastic, inquisitive, and willing to roll with the punches is often a strong signal for job performance. Rachel King, Fortune, "Startup Year One: Lessons on Hiring New Talent, the Evolving Roles of Founders, and More," 1 Jan. 2020 She was described as generous, charming, persistent, brilliant, inquisitive, adventurous, sometimes stubborn, an incredible puzzle doer and a thesaurus’ worth of other attributes. Richard A. Marini,, "San Antonio’s Charline McCombs remembered," 17 Dec. 2019 The inquisitive 22-year-old catching prospect, in his first major league camp, has spent the first week lockered next to veteran Jeff Mathis and working closely with new Double-A Frisco manager Bobby Wilson. Dallas News, "How the Rangers are preparing for Globe Life Field’s synthetic playing surface during spring training," 16 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of inquisitive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inquisitive

see inquisition

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inquisitive

Time Traveler for inquisitive

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for inquisitive

Last Updated

5 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inquisitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on inquisitive

What made you want to look up inquisitive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!