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[kyoo r-ee-os-i-tee] /ˌkyʊər iˈɒs ɪ ti/
noun, plural curiosities.
the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness.
a curious, rare, or novel thing.
a strange, curious, or interesting quality.
Archaic. carefulness; fastidiousness.
Origin of curiosity
1350-1400; Middle English curiosite (< Anglo-French) < Latin cūriōsitās. See curious, -ity
Related forms
noncuriosity, noun
overcuriosity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for curiosity
  • Among their shared characteristics are the desire to excel and an inherent curiosity about geography and the world around them.
  • Kids of all ages can experience scientific phenomena through these curiosity-inspiring, hands-on exhibits.
  • The space is designed to inspire, engage, and pique curiosity and encourage visitors to express their own creativity.
  • The natives brought her several seedless oranges, which were a curiosity to her.
  • Cravings and curiosity, rather than price tags, often guide what lands in my grocery cart.
  • Ma's technical brilliance and his insatiable curiosity about the entire range of musical experience quickly paid off.
  • curiosity is a special bread that everyone should eat.
  • How sad to read that your palette has not kept pace with your curiosity.
  • Some readers missed part of the point, to inspire dialogue and curiosity.
  • His endless curiosity and zest for life inspire us all.
British Dictionary definitions for curiosity


noun (pl) -ties
an eager desire to know; inquisitiveness
  1. the quality of being curious; strangeness
  2. (as modifier): the ring had curiosity value only
something strange or fascinating
a rare or strange object; curio
(obsolete) fastidiousness
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
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Word Origin and History for curiosity

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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