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

Analysis on the most important global story of the day, top reads, interesting ideas and opinions to know, in your inbox weekdays. Washington Post, "No-say Nissan had tech that drove Fiat Chrysler-Renault idea," 7 June 2019 Former Arizona assistant Book Richardson was sentenced to three months in prison on Thursday, and an interesting dynamic arose. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Pac-12 receives $750 million bids from potential partners (reportedly) but details are the key," 7 June 2019 Online shopping is gaining more momentum every year, and this dynamic has begun to shift in interesting ways. Brandon Spoerhase, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage malls are going through an identity crisis. Here’s why that might be good thing.," 7 June 2019 More than 50 survivors enjoyed breakfast, speakers, exercise, a photo corner, camaraderie and an interesting craft project. Sue Ellen Ross, Post-Tribune, "Cancer suvivors celebrate with testimonials, activities," 7 June 2019 Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin's first budget features all sorts of interesting ways to spend $451 million. Hailey Auglair |,, "Birmingham students matched with local companies for summer apprenticeship program," 6 June 2019 Still, this group has found interesting players later in the past two drafts. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks hoping draft strategy pays off, praise is warranted in long run," 6 June 2019 As always, the roster selection brought with it some interesting – some might say controversial – decisions. Patrick Brennan,, "USMNT sets final roster for visit to Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, 2019 Gold Cup," 6 June 2019 The goal is to pick up as much trash as possible in two hours, with awards handed out for most trash, biggest piece of trash and most interesting piece of trash. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "In Detroit, 'trash fishing' is a thing and it's reeling in big catches," 5 June 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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Statistics for interesting

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for interesting

The first known use of interesting was in 1768

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More Definitions for interesting



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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Comments on interesting

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


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