\ ˈnō-zē How to pronounce nosy (audio) \
variants: or nosey
nosier; nosiest

Definition of nosy

: of prying or inquisitive (see inquisitive sense 2) disposition or quality : intrusive nosy reporters nosy neighbors

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nosy

nosily \ ˈnō-​zə-​lē How to pronounce nosily (audio) \ adverb
nosiness \ ˈnō-​zē-​nəs How to pronounce nosiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for nosy


curious, inquisitive, prying, snoopy


incurious, uncurious

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of nosy in a Sentence

nosy in-laws asking about our finances a nosy coworker sat down right next to us as we were having an unmistakably private conversation

Recent Examples on the Web

Witness the drama, nosy neighbors, and the hubbub surrounding a pair of underpants. Anchorage Daily News, "Autumn activities are back: Fungus fair, fall harvest tea and moose madness," 5 Sep. 2019 Protect your assets from anyone who is being nosy or manipulative. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: July 16, 2019," 16 July 2019 There's a burning rivalry here, but it's cloaked under smiles and passive aggression — not unlike how the women of Desperate Housewives operated when confronted with mean PTA moms and nosy neighbors. Kaitlin Reilly,, "With Grand Hotel, Eva Longoria Puts More Women Behind The Camera — & More Man Candy In Front Of It," 15 June 2019 The only personal item was his ever-present artist board, with sketches carefully placed face down to foil nosy reporters. Judith Newman,, "He's dressed Cher and Carol Burnett. But now Bob Mackie is finally getting his own star turn," 5 June 2019 For all of the nosy curious minds out there, Ant's ex-wife is Louise Anstead. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "So Who Was Ant Anstead Married to Before Meeting Christina Anstead?," 10 June 2019 In Season 1, a Greek chorus of nosy parents and snide school administrators guided our attentions. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“Big Little Lies” Season 2, Reviewed: Meryl, Meryl, Meryl," 9 June 2019 The Meddler As the title suggests, this is about a nosy mom (Susan Sarandon) who meddles in the life of her struggling daughter (Rose Byrne). Seventeen, "20 Mother's Day Movies to Watch With Your Mom," 11 Apr. 2019 Thankfully, Sophie seems to have the most ingenious response to the nosy photographers—and that's to take pictures of them right back. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner Just Clapped Back at Nosy Paparazzi in the Most Brilliant Way," 27 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nosy.' 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 nosy

1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nosy

nose entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nosy

Statistics for nosy

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nosy

The first known use of nosy was in 1828

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nosy



English Language Learners Definition of nosy

informal + disapproving : wanting to know about other people's lives, problems, etc.


variants: or nosey \ ˈnō-​zē \
nosier; nosiest

Kids Definition of nosy

: wanting to know about someone else's business nosy neighbors

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on nosy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nosy

Spanish Central: Translation of nosy

Nglish: Translation of nosy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on nosy

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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