AskDefine | Define curiosity

Dictionary Definition



1 a state in which you want to learn more about something [syn: wonder]
2 something unusual -- perhaps worthy of collecting [syn: curio, oddity, oddment, peculiarity, rarity]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • AHD: kyoo͞r"ēŏs'ətē
  • /ˌkjʊərɪˈɒsɪti/
  • SAMPA: /%kju@ri"Qs@ti/


  1. inquisitiveness; the tendency to ask questions, investigate, or explore
    Cats have a natural curiosity that sometimes gets them in trouble.
    Out of curiosity, why are you wearing your shirt backwards? (means, "I am just wondering")
  2. An unique or extraordinary object which arouses interest.
    He kept the strangely shaped rock as a curiosity.


  • 1956 — Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, p 39
    "Certainly there is nothing wrong with Alvin's intelligence, but many of the things that should concern him seem to be a matter of complete indifference. On the other hand, he shows a morbid curiosity regarding subjects which we do not generally discuss."



inquisitiveness; the tendency to ask questions, investigate, or explore
An unique or extraordinary object which arouses interest
  • Czech: kuriozita
  • German: Kuriosität, Kuriosum

Related terms

Extensive Definition

curiosity in Arabic: فضول
curiosity in Catalan: Curiositat
curiosity in German: Neugier
curiosity in Spanish: Curiosidad
curiosity in French: Curiosité (faculté)
curiosity in Galician: Curiosidade
curiosity in Hebrew: סקרנות
curiosity in Dutch: Nieuwsgierigheid
curiosity in Japanese: 好奇心
curiosity in Norwegian: Kuriositet
curiosity in Portuguese: Curiosidade (emoção)
curiosity in Romanian: Curiozitate
curiosity in Albanian: Kureshtja
curiosity in Sicilian: Curiusità

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abnormality, amazement, anomaly, ardor, astonishing thing, astonishment, bauble, bric-a-brac, cathexis, concern, concernment, concupiscence, conversation piece, curio, desideration, desire, drive, eagerness, enthusiasm, exception, fancy, fantasy, freak, gazingstock, gewgaw, hope, horme, improbability, inquisitiveness, intellectual curiosity, interest, interestedness, interference, intrusiveness, libido, lust for learning, marvel, marvelment, matter of interest, meddlesomeness, mind, miracle, monstrosity, museum piece, need, nonesuch, nosiness, objet d'art, oddity, passion, phenomenon, pleasure, pleasure principle, prodigiosity, prodigy, prying, questioning, quite a thing, rarity, regard, sensation, sexual desire, sight, snooping, something else, special interest, spectacle, strange thing, stunner, thirst for knowledge, trinket, urge, want, wanting, will, will and pleasure, wish, wish fulfillment, wonder, wonderful thing, wonderment
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