[ in-kwiz-i-tiv ]
See synonyms for inquisitive on
  1. given to inquiry, research, or asking questions; eager for knowledge; intellectually curious: an inquisitive mind.

  2. unduly or inappropriately curious; prying.

  1. an inquisitive person: thick curtains to frustrate inquisitives.

Origin of inquisitive

First recorded in 1350–1400; from Late Latin inquīsītīvus, equivalent to Latin inquīsīt(us) (see inquisition) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English inquisitif, from Middle French, from Late Latin, as above

synonym study For inquisitive

2. See curious.

Opposites for inquisitive

Other words from inquisitive

  • in·quis·i·tive·ly, adverb
  • in·quis·i·tive·ness, noun
  • su·per·in·quis·i·tive, adjective
  • su·per·in·quis·i·tive·ly, adverb
  • un·in·quis·i·tive, adjective
  • un·in·quis·i·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use inquisitive in a sentence

  • Slipping naturally into the most conventional groove either of word or deed, Cornelia eyed the suitcase inquisitively.

    Molly Make-Believe | Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • In grassy enclosures deer and roes are feeding; they push forwards inquisitively as the train passes.

  • The surgeon glanced at him inquisitively, but asked no questions.

    Robert Hardy's Seven Days | Charles Monroe Sheldon
  • He was awakened from his reverie by the magistrate himself, who came up behind and looked over his shoulder inquisitively.

    Dry Fish and Wet | Anthon Bernhard Elias Nilsen
  • Ottelientje and Huig were put to bed; Karel went to do his home-work; Marietje hung round her elder sisters, inquisitively.

    The Later Life | Louis Couperus

British Dictionary definitions for inquisitive


/ (ɪnˈkwɪzɪtɪv) /

  1. excessively curious, esp about the affairs of others; prying

  2. eager to learn; inquiring

Derived forms of inquisitive

  • 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