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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from inquisitive

inquisitively adverb
inquisitiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for inquisitive

Synonyms

curious, nosy (or nosey), prying, snoopy

Antonyms

incurious, uncurious

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

Crossing the land border to Ukraine, as an estimated 200,000 do each month, means braving long lines and inquisitive border guards. The Economist, "Crimea is still in limbo five years after Russia seized it," 8 June 2019 Catalina, a 3-year-old sea lion at the National Zoo known for being inquisitive and playful, has died, zoo officials said. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Catalina, a 3-year-old sea lion, has died at the National Zoo," 26 Aug. 2019 Richard Cordier was a truly good, gentle, free-spirited, inquisitive and highly intellectual person who mastered living in the moment. courant.com, "Richard Lee Cordier," 5 Aug. 2019 Kaylie is highly inquisitive and observant and has a great memory for details. Boys & Girls Aid, oregonlive, "Kaylie, 13, hopes for a family that will help her become her best self: A Home of Their Own," 14 Sep. 2019 His inquisitive eyes scanned a large room where a group of scientists were performing tests on his colleagues. Xing Liu, Science Magazine, "At 5100 meters elevation, a Peruvian gold mining town is the world’s highest settlement—and a good place to study how life at extremely low oxygen levels ravages the body.," 12 Sep. 2019 In the first months of his freshman year in Madison, the habitually inquisitive Taylor became an object of curiosity himself. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "The Insatiable Curiosity of Jonathan Taylor Drives His Relentless Dominance," 6 Sep. 2019 The inquisitive, free-spirited Anne Shirley turns 13 and faces a host of new experiences. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 Jue also plays a couple of amusingly inquisitive travelers, and Kuroda is entertainingly overbearing and passionate as a stern Esperanto tutor. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Delightful ‘Language Archive’ finds TheatreWorks on a roll," 15 July 2019

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

Statistics for inquisitive

Last Updated

19 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inquisitive

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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