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

Essential Meaning of inquisitive

1 : tending to ask questions : having a desire to know or learn more She was very inquisitive [=curious] as a child. an inquisitive mind
2 disapproving : asking too many questions about other people's lives an overly inquisitive neighbor

Full 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
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Recent Examples on the Web Should inquisitive minds require more intel, The Dutch Master was released in 1993 and revolves around Sorvino’s character escaping into a painting to have a romp with the man who lives inside of it. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 15 Nov. 2021 Posnanski brings an inquisitive mind to the proceedings, relentlessly pursuing the why and how of success, through voracious research and firsthand interviews from his career as a sportswriter. Scot Bertram, National Review, 31 Oct. 2021 Hughes’s inquisitive phrases seemed to ask questions of Settles’s monumental tone. Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2021 According to Jeff Goldblum, viewers are taken on a wild and inquisitive adventure to uncover more surprising secrets about seemingly familiar topics. Anne Victoria Clark, Vulture, 27 Oct. 2021 In Ryan’s room, the inquisitive duo came across what looked like notes Ryan had prepared as a cheat-sheet for how to get more camera time. oregonlive, 26 Oct. 2021 Leos are those born under the idealistic sign of Aquarius (67% vaccinated), followed by the determined Aries and inquisitive Sagittarius. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Oct. 2021 The latter category requires an individual/workforce that is: customer-centric, collaborative, empathetic, fluid, tech and data-savvy, efficient, effective, inquisitive, creative, and a lifelong learner. Mark A. Cohen, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2021 Beltrán, who is slight and inquisitive, with a wisp of facial hair, felt intimidated by their virility at first. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, 5 Oct. 2021

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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Last Updated

22 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inquisitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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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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