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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Learn how to graft more interesting varieties onto your tree and join in the exchange of fruit-tree cuttings, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Palm Room at the L.A. County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia. Los Angeles Times, "Garden Calendar: It’s time for moonlight gardens and showy orchids," 31 Jan. 2020 The more interesting aspect of the Apple Maps overhaul is what happened under the hood. Lauren Goode, Wired, "The Biggest Apple Maps Change Is One You Can't See," 31 Jan. 2020 Most of us in Indianapolis probably just wished the striking storefront at College Avenue and 46th Street could be something more interesting. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Former Big Al's Superstore turned into fried chicken restaurant by 'Top Chef' contestants," 29 Jan. 2020 All of this is a lot more interesting than an assistant finding an earring on the carpet, but don’t hold your breath for a movie that tells the whole story. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Finally, a Harvey Weinstein Movie," 25 Jan. 2020 In times of conflict or war, human behaviour becomes extreme, more interesting and more dramatic to engage with, and put together in a story. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "“Thankfully there’s no censorship on OTT, but sensationalism will only provoke authorities”," 23 Jan. 2020 The car business—where Rolls-Royce handmakes extreme high-end luxury vehicles only—is the tip of an experimental iceberg that goes back over a century, although the company has sold off some of its more interesting arms of business in recent years. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "These Tiny Nuclear Power Stations Could Be, Well, Huge," 21 Jan. 2020 For the most part, her overall career trajectory is progressively getting grittier and much more interesting. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kristen Stewart's Mini Skirt Suit Is A Game Changer," 9 Jan. 2020 The letters make learning a new language more interesting for the students, Williams said. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Colorado high school students make cultural, personal connections through Japanese pen pals," 27 Dec. 2019

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.

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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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Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interesting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for interesting


How to pronounce interesting (audio) How to pronounce interesting (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of interesting

: attracting your attention and making you want to learn more about something or to be involved in something : not dull or boring


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

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