Curiosity is the urge you feel to know more about something. If you find a diary in a coffee shop, curiosity will make you want to look inside — but respect for the writer's privacy may convince you not to.

Curiosity is the state of being curious: inquisitive, wondering, ready to poke around and figure something out. The word used to mean "very, very careful," and only in the last few hundred years turned into a word expressing the desire to know more. Maybe that's because when you're poking around in secret business, you need to be very, very careful. We also call weird things curiosities, like a phone shaped like a duck, or a shark in a jar.

Definitions of curiosity

n a state in which you want to learn more about something

show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
desire to know, lust for learning, thirst for knowledge
curiosity that motivates investigation and study
interest, involvement
a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something
curiousness, inquisitiveness
a state of active curiosity
a lively interest
something that interests you because it is important or affects you
nosiness, prying, snoopiness
offensive inquisitiveness
Type of:
cognitive state, state of mind
the state of a person's cognitive processes

n something unusual -- perhaps worthy of collecting

curio, oddity, oddment, peculiarity, rarity
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
bric-a-brac, knickknack, knickknackery, nicknack, whatnot
miscellaneous curios
collectable, collectible
things considered to be worth collecting (not necessarily valuable or antique)
collector's item, piece de resistance, showpiece
the outstanding item (the prize piece or main exhibit) in a collection
chachka, tchotchke, tsatske, tshatshke
(Yiddish) an inexpensive showy trinket
(plural) rare collector's items
Type of:
object, physical object
a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.