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late 14c., "careful attention to detail," also "desire to know or learn" (originally usually in a bad sense), from Old French curiosete "curiosity, avidity, choosiness" (Modern French curiosité), from Latin curiositatem (nominative curiositas) "desire of knowledge, inquisitiveness," from curiosus (see curious). Neutral or good sense is from early 17c. Meaning "an object of interest" is from 1640s.