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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One day my mother had the curiosity to come behind the scenes.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • A pioneer is a brave fellow, with the courage of his own curiosity.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • He evidently saw in me a mystery which excited his curiosity.

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • A plain case, that he had left his curiosity with me, and designed to shew me no other.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Ahenobarbus will burst from curiosity, when I tell him that it is from nature.

    Quo Vadis Henryk Sienkiewicz
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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