[ kyoo r-ee-os-i-tee ]
/ ˌkyʊər iˈɒs ɪ ti /

noun, plural cu·ri·os·i·ties.

the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness.
a curious, rare, or novel thing.
a strange, curious, or interesting quality.
Archaic. carefulness; fastidiousness.

Nearby words

  1. curie, marie,
  2. curie-weiss law,
  3. curing,
  4. curio,
  5. curiosa,
  6. curiosity killed the cat,
  7. curious,
  8. curiously,
  9. curite,
  10. curitiba

Origin of curiosity

1350–1400; Middle English curiosite (< Anglo-French) < Latin cūriōsitās. See curious, -ity

Related formsnon·cu·ri·os·i·ty, nouno·ver·cu·ri·os·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curiosity

British Dictionary definitions for curiosity


/ (ˌkjʊərɪˈɒsɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

an eager desire to know; inquisitiveness
  1. the quality of being curious; strangeness
  2. (as modifier)the ring had curiosity value only
something strange or fascinating
a rare or strange object; curio
obsolete fastidiousness
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

Word Origin and History for curiosity



late 14c., "careful attention to detail," also "desire to know or learn" (originally usually in a bad sense), from Old French curiosete "curiosity, avidity, choosiness" (Modern French curiosité), from Latin curiositatem (nominative curiositas) "desire of knowledge, inquisitiveness," from curiosus (see curious). Neutral or good sense is from early 17c. Meaning "an object of interest" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper