• synonyms


See more synonyms for curious on Thesaurus.com
  1. eager to learn or know; inquisitive.
  2. prying; meddlesome.
  3. arousing or exciting speculation, interest, or attention through being inexplicable or highly unusual; odd; strange: a curious sort of person; a curious scene.
  4. Archaic.
    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.
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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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for curiousness

Historical Examples

  • The curiousness of the subject will, I hope, excuse my dwelling on it for some time.

    A Treatise of Human Nature

    David Hume

  • Surely, that which is forbid as solemn matter of religion, should be rather forbid as mere matter of curiousness.

    Joyce Morrell's Harvest

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • There is nothing else to recommend the poem except its wit and the curiousness of the subject.

  • Her mother had been frank with her since she had reached the age of curiousness; in turn Mona was frank with her father.

    Painted Veils

    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for curiousness


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

Word Origin

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 curiousness



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper