Word of the Day : May 7, 2011


adjective KYUR-ee-us


1 a : marked by desire to investigate and learn

b : marked by inquisitive interest in others' concerns : nosy

2 : exciting attention as strange, novel, or unexpected : odd

Did You Know?

Since the 1300s, "curious" has been variously used to describe things that in some way require, invite, or are characterized by carefulness or inquisitiveness. In so doing, it carries on the legacy of its Latin source, the adjective "curiosus," meaning "careful" or "inquisitive." The comparative of "curious" is "more curious," though it is not unusual to encounter the phrase "curiouser and curiouser," made popular by the title character of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland who, Lewis Carroll tells us, "was so much surprised that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English."


She has a curious habit of mumbling to herself constantly while she does her crossword puzzles.

"He [physicist Richard P. Feynman] was an irresistible subject for biographers and, as he called himself in two of his subtitles, a curious character indeed." -- From a book review by George Johnson in the New York Times, April 3, 2011

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