curiosity killed the cat

Cultural Dictionary

Curiosity killed the cat definition


People should mind their own business. This expression apparently first appeared in print in an O. Henry story in the early 1900s.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

curiosity killed the cat

It's best to mind one's own business. For example, Don't ask about his divorcecuriosity killed the cat. This cautionary expression sounds like the moral of some fable or folktale, but any such origin for it has been lost. The first recorded use was in O. Henry's Schools and Schools (1909).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature