curiosity

noun
cu·​ri·​os·​i·​ty | \ ˌkyu̇r-ē-ˈä-s(ə-)tē How to pronounce curiosity (audio) , ˌkyər- \
plural curiosities

Essential Meaning of curiosity

1 : the desire to learn or know more about something or someone Her natural curiosity led her to ask more questions. The arrival of a construction crew at their house attracted/sparked/aroused the curiosity of their neighbors. See More ExamplesThe movie failed to satisfy her curiosity about the assassination. intellectual curiosity He went into the store out of curiosity. [=because he was curious to see what was in the store]Hide
2 : something that is interesting because it is unusual Tobacco was once a curiosity in Europe. The antique shop was full of curiosities.

Full Definition of curiosity

1 : desire to know:
a : inquisitive interest in others' concerns : nosiness The construction inside their house aroused the curiosity of their neighbors.
b : interest leading to inquiry intellectual curiosity Her natural curiosity led her to ask more questions.
2 archaic : undue nicety or fastidiousness
3a : one that arouses interest especially for uncommon or exotic characteristics Tobacco was once regarded as a curiosity in Europe.
b : an unusual knickknack : curio The antique shop was full of curiosities.
c : a curious trait or aspect

Synonyms & Antonyms for curiosity

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of curiosity in a Sentence

Her natural curiosity led her to ask more questions. The arrival of a construction crew at their house attracted the curiosity of their neighbors. The movie failed to satisfy her curiosity about the assassination. Tobacco was once a curiosity in Europe. The antique shop was full of curiosities.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Beyond fatigue, there was another curiosity — and concern — in evaluating performance over a full season. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Nov. 2021 My company’s core values are kindness, generosity, curiosity, courage and discipline. Paula Davis, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 Her avalanches of prose are studded with sharp moments of specificity, and her descriptions, though heated by curiosity, affection, or lust, are always cooled by wit. The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2021 While the official releases were strategically crafted to play into the public’s curiosity about the band’s inner workings, the real gems of the Jonas’ interactions are far less polished. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 25 Oct. 2021 The friends’ reunion crackles with tension, charged with curiosity, envy and longing. New York Times, 20 Oct. 2021 The Metroid series, more than most, rewards curiosity, persistence and sharp memories. Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 To begin with, Zeno possesses—in abundance—three of the most desirable human qualities: intelligence, curiosity, and a sense of humor. Sigrid Nunez, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 But the album name is what has piqued fans’ curiosity (and concern). Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for curiosity

see curious

Learn More About curiosity

Time Traveler for curiosity

Time Traveler

The first known use of curiosity was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near curiosity

curiosa felicitas

curiosity

curioso

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for curiosity

Last Updated

22 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Curiosity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curiosity. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for curiosity

curiosity

noun
cu·​ri·​os·​i·​ty | \ ˌkyu̇r-ē-ˈä-sə-tē How to pronounce curiosity (audio) \
plural curiosities

Kids Definition of curiosity

1 : an eager desire to learn and often to learn things that are another's concern "What's happening?" he asked with curiosity.
2 : something strange or unusual They both sat looking at Harriet as though she were a curiosity put on television to entertain them.— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy
3 : an object or article valued because it is strange or rare

More from Merriam-Webster on curiosity

Nglish: Translation of curiosity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curiosity for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about curiosity

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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