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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.
Synonym Study
2. See curious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inquisitively
Historical Examples
  • The Professor—I had guessed his identity—joined us, glancing at me inquisitively.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • I then gazed at her so inquisitively that she understood instinctively.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Mr. Burns sighed, glanced at me inquisitively, as much as to say, "Aren't you going yet?"

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • She raised to me not her eyes but her whole face, inquisitively—perhaps in appeal.

    The Arrow of Gold Joseph Conrad
  • The surgeon glanced at him inquisitively, but asked no questions.

    Robert Hardy's Seven Days

    Charles Monroe Sheldon
  • He looked at me so inquiringly, so inquisitively, that I went on.

    Daisy Elizabeth Wetherell
  • "You didn't say any thing about it, so I don't see how you could," said Demi, inquisitively.

    Little Men Louisa May Alcott
  • The Church may not attempt rashly and inquisitively to lift the veil.

    Memories of Bethany John Ross Macduff
  • Wiles opened the door a little impatiently, yet inquisitively, as Dobbs passed.

    The Story of a Mine Bret Harte
  • He looked hard and inquisitively at me, and then turned abruptly away.

    Pelham, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for inquisitively


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 inquisitively



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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