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 curiously

Contemporary Examples of curiously

Historical Examples of curiously

  • The edge of the garment was curiously wrought with golden palm leaves.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Gracie Dennis, watched him curiously; listened critically to his words.

  • She got up slowly, and stood silent, while Aggie regarded her curiously.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He was curiously mixed up in the events of the revolution of 1848.

  • He looked at me curiously for an instant--then with a frown.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for curiously



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 curiously



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