eager to learn or know; inquisitive.
prying; meddlesome.
arousing or exciting speculation, interest, or attention through being inexplicable or highly unusual; odd; strange: a curious sort of person; a curious scene.
  1. made or prepared skillfully.
  2. done with painstaking accuracy or attention to detail: a curious inquiry.
  3. careful; fastidious.
  4. marked by intricacy or subtlety.

Origin of curious

1275–1325; Middle English < Latin cūriōsus careful, inquisitive, equivalent to cūri- (combining form of cūra care) + -ōsus -ous. See cure
Related formscu·ri·ous·ly, adverbcu·ri·ous·ness, nounnon·cu·ri·ous, adjectivenon·cu·ri·ous·ly, adverbnon·cu·ri·ous·ness, nouno·ver·cu·ri·ous, adjectiveo·ver·cu·ri·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·cu·ri·ous·ness, nounsu·per·cu·ri·ous, adjectivesu·per·cu·ri·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·cu·ri·ous·ness, nounun·cu·ri·ous, adjectiveun·cu·ri·ous·ly, adverb

Synonyms for curious

1. inquiring, interested. 2. spying, peeping. 3. singular, novel, rare.

Synonym study

2. Curious, inquisitive, meddlesome, prying refer to taking an undue (and petty) interest in others' affairs. Curious implies a desire to know what is not properly one's concern: curious about a neighbor's habits. Inquisitive implies asking impertinent questions in an effort to satisfy curiosity: inquisitive about a neighbor's habits. Meddlesome implies thrusting oneself into and taking an active part in other people's affairs entirely unasked and unwelcomed: a meddlesome cousin who tries to run the affairs of a family. Prying implies a meddlesome and persistent inquiring into others' affairs: a prying reporter inquiring into the secrets of a business firm.

Antonyms for curious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curious

Contemporary Examples of curious

Historical Examples of curious

  • He left her studying the card with a curious little flash of surprise.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • It is curious to note the extent to which the unexpected has come about.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • They were as yet quite ignorant but thanks to a happy Fate they were curious.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • She went about looking at things, curious, touching them softly as if they were sacred.

  • At any rate the marshal smiled, and a curious flush came in Andrew's face.

British Dictionary definitions for curious



eager to learn; inquisitive
overinquisitive; prying
interesting because of oddness or novelty; strange; unexpected
rare (of workmanship, etc) highly detailed, intricate, or subtle
obsolete fastidious or hard to please
Derived Formscuriously, adverbcuriousness, noun

Word Origin for curious

C14: from Latin cūriōsus taking pains over something, from cūra care
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 curious

mid-14c., "eager to know" (often in a bad sense), from Old French curios "solicitous, anxious, inquisitive; odd, strange" (Modern French curieux) and directly from Latin curiosus "careful, diligent; inquiring eagerly, meddlesome," akin to cura "care" (see cure (n.)). The objective sense of "exciting curiosity" is 1715 in English. In booksellers' catalogues, the word means "erotic, pornographic." Curiouser and curiouser is from "Alice in Wonderland" (1865).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper