in·​ter·​est·​ing | \ ˈin-t(ə-)rə-stiŋ How to pronounce interesting (audio) ; ˈin-tə-ˌre-, ˈin-ˌtre-; ˈin-tər- How to pronounce interesting (audio) \

Definition of interesting

: holding the attention : arousing interest

Other Words from interesting

interestingness noun

The Pronunciation and History of Interesting

There are a number of ways to say interesting. It can have three syllables or four; it can have an accent only on the first syllable, or it can also have a secondary accent on the "res"; the first "e" can get ignored, resulting in a second syllable of "tres" rhyming with dress; or the second "e" can be ignored, resulting in a syllable that sounds like terse. All of these various pronunciations are well-established and occur in the speech of educated, native speakers of English.

The word interesting originally meant "of concern"; it was a synonym of important. It comes from the verb interest, which in its original use meant "to induce or persuade to participate or engage." If you were interested in something, you were not willing to be a bystander; you felt the need to participate or engage.

Examples of interesting in a Sentence

This is one of the most interesting books I've read all year. It will be interesting to see how she decides to spend the money. This building has an interesting history. I don't find politics very interesting. I found it interesting to learn that she had once lived in California. Most of what he said wasn't interesting to me. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Two people suffering from immense self-loathing abandon their much more interesting partners for a naked pity party: a love story. Jenny Singer, Glamour, 15 May 2022 Intentional walks are more interesting than owners and players fighting over money. Globe Staff,, 14 May 2022 Yet what’s ultimately more interesting than how much these writers and artists partied is how much they got done anyway. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, 13 May 2022 But the case is not that interesting to First Amendment scholars. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 10 May 2022 Here is a sample of the more interesting strategies. Kate Galbraith, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 May 2022 Mushrooms were always one of the most interesting things to me. Cathy Jakicic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 May 2022 Analysis: The Colts had one question mark along the starting offensive line and addressed it in the third round with Central Michigan tackle Bernhard Raimann, creating one of the more interesting battles of training camp. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 9 May 2022 The Triple Mash, on the other hand, is where things get a bit more interesting. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 8 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interesting.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of interesting

1768, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for interesting

Time Traveler

The first known use of interesting was in 1768

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Dictionary Entries Near interesting

interest group



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Statistics for interesting

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Interesting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for interesting


in·​ter·​est·​ing | \ ˈin-trə-stiŋ How to pronounce interesting (audio) , ˈin-tə-rə- \

Kids Definition of interesting

: holding the attention : not dull or boring an interesting story

Other Words from interesting

interestingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on interesting

Nglish: Translation of interesting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of interesting for Arabic Speakers


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