curious

adjective
cu·​ri·​ous | \ ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs How to pronounce curious (audio) , ˈkyər- \

Essential Meaning of curious

1 : having a desire to learn or know more about something or someone The cat was naturally curious about its new surroundings. They were curious to find out who won the game. See More ExamplesWe're curious about why you never called us. The curious [=inquisitive] reader can find more information in the back of the book. I'm curious to know more about her.Hide
2 : strange, unusual, or unexpected She found a curious old clock in the attic. That's curious [=weird, strange, odd]—I thought I left my keys right here. See More ExamplesThe birds were engaged in some curious behavior. Their music is a curious blend of disco and rock. By a curious coincidence, they bought a house the same day their old one burned down. The story of what really happened to them that day gets curiouser and curiouser. [=stranger and stranger]Hide

Full Definition of curious

1a : marked by desire to investigate and learn They were curious as to who won the game. The cat was curious about its new environment.
b : marked by inquisitive interest in others' concerns : nosy curious about the neighbors' doings
2 : exciting attention as strange, novel, or unexpected : odd a curious coincidence We were concerned about his curious behavior.
3a archaic : made carefully
b archaic : precisely accurate
c obsolete : abstruse

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Other Words from curious

curiousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for curious

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for curious

curious, inquisitive, prying mean interested in what is not one's personal or proper concern. curious, a neutral term, basically connotes an active desire to learn or to know. children are curious about everything inquisitive suggests impertinent and habitual curiosity and persistent quizzing. dreaded the visits of their inquisitive relatives prying implies busy meddling and officiousness. prying neighbors who refuse to mind their own business

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."

Examples of curious in a Sentence

The cat was naturally curious about its new surroundings. They were curious to find out who won the game. We're curious about why you never called us. I'm curious to know more about her. She found a curious old clock in the attic. The birds were engaged in some curious behavior. Their music is a curious blend of disco and rock. By a curious coincidence, they bought a house the same day their old one burned down.
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Recent Examples on the Web Instead of being scared or confrontational when a potential buyer presents an objection, a better approach is to be curious and ask questions that help to clarify what is really going on in the potential buyer’s mind. Doug C. Brown, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Dalloway’s ubiquity, in one way, is curious: This moment would not seem to be clamoring for a story about a rich white woman running errands. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 8 Oct. 2021 The book’s inclusion in the Jewish Lives series is curious given that Ray downplayed and sometimes disavowed his own Jewishness. Jeremy Lybarger, The New Republic, 7 Oct. 2021 Many of us have an innate predisposition to be curious. Jony Ive, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2021 Kelly’s curious comment prompted backlash on social media and a question about the remark during his postgame news conference. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2021 And the way our ethos comes to life is through three mantras: be bold, be open and be curious. Soon Yu, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 Also curious is that the Orlando shooter dialled 911 during his rampage and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. David Sedaris, The New Yorker, 30 Sep. 2021 For folks who haven't ever had to think about this, the act of introducing oneself with a pronoun can be curious. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, 28 Sep. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for curious

Middle English, from Anglo-French curios, from Latin curiosus careful, inquisitive, from cura cure

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Time Traveler for curious

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near curious

curioso

curious

curiouser and curiouser

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Curious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curious. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for curious

curious

adjective
cu·​ri·​ous | \ ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs How to pronounce curious (audio) \

Kids Definition of curious

1 : eager to learn : inquisitive Curious onlookers gathered at the scene.
2 : showing an eagerness to learn a curious expression
3 : attracting attention by being strange or unusual : odd "… I'm a … collector … and I like to look at curious specimens."— Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg

Other Words from curious

curiously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on curious

Nglish: Translation of curious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curious for Arabic Speakers

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