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[in-kwiz-i-tiv] /ɪnˈkwɪz ɪ tɪv/
given to inquiry, research, or asking questions; eager for knowledge; intellectually curious:
an inquisitive mind.
unduly or inappropriately curious; prying.
an inquisitive person:
thick curtains to frustrate inquisitives.
Origin of inquisitive
1350-1400; < Late Latin inquīsītīvus, equivalent to Latin inquīsīt(us) (see inquisition) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English inquisitif < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related forms
inquisitively, adverb
inquisitiveness, noun
superinquisitive, adjective
superinquisitively, adverb
superinquisitiveness, noun
uninquisitive, adjective
uninquisitively, adverb
uninquisitiveness, noun
1, 2. uninterested. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for inquisitive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And very soon the inquisitive had other food for their curiosity.

    Lady Lilith Stephen McKenna
  • He cocked his head an' peered at the skipper like an inquisitive bird.

    Harbor Tales Down North Norman Duncan
  • They were no sooner gone than an inquisitive whisper of "Who is he?"

  • We see why in some points it tends to be inquisitive or intolerant.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • His replies were so unsatisfactory to the inquisitive chief, that he arrested the suspected felon and sent him to Kambia.

    Captain Canot Brantz Mayer
British Dictionary definitions for inquisitive


excessively curious, esp about the affairs of others; prying
eager to learn; inquiring
Derived Forms
inquisitively, adverb
inquisitiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inquisitive

late 14c., from Old French inquisitif, from Late Latin inquisitivus "making inquiry," from Latin inquisit-, past participle stem of inquirere (see inquire).

An housbonde shal nat been Inquisityf of goddes pryuetee nor of his wyf. [Chaucer, "Miller's Prologue"]
Related: Inquisitively; inquisitiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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