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[in-kwiz-i-tiv] /ɪnˈkwɪz ɪ tɪv/
given to inquiry, research, or asking questions; eager for knowledge; intellectually curious:
an inquisitive mind.
unduly or inappropriately curious; prying.
an inquisitive person:
thick curtains to frustrate inquisitives.
Origin of inquisitive
1350-1400; < Late Latin inquīsītīvus, equivalent to Latin inquīsīt(us) (see inquisition) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English inquisitif < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related forms
inquisitively, adverb
inquisitiveness, noun
superinquisitive, adjective
superinquisitively, adverb
superinquisitiveness, noun
uninquisitive, adjective
uninquisitively, adverb
uninquisitiveness, noun
2. See curious.
1, 2. uninterested. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inquisitiveness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The curiosity and inquisitiveness of many landlords was a standing jest.

    Stage-coach and Tavern Days Alice Morse Earle
  • Then his eyes flashed, and in his turn he seemed to yield to inquisitiveness.

  • But, if you'll pardon my inquisitiveness, I'd like to ask why you are making this wild goose chase half around the world?

    Graustark George Barr McCutcheon
  • LOT, Mrs., the only woman who had an inquisitiveness which became practical.

  • A person of charming manner is usually free from resentments, inquisitiveness, and moods.

    Talks on Talking Grenville Kleiser
  • His dark eyes sparkle with inquisitiveness behind the pince-nez.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • Dorothy Usk looks at him with inquisitiveness: she has never known him fail to rely on his own attractions before.

  • Also the inquisitiveness of the Editor had irritated him and had closed his lips in sheer disgust.

    Within the Tides Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for inquisitiveness


excessively curious, esp about the affairs of others; prying
eager to learn; inquiring
Derived Forms
inquisitively, adverb
inquisitiveness, noun
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 inquisitiveness



late 14c., from Old French inquisitif, from Late Latin inquisitivus "making inquiry," from Latin inquisit-, past participle stem of inquirere (see inquire).

An housbonde shal nat been Inquisityf of goddes pryuetee nor of his wyf. [Chaucer, "Miller's Prologue"]
Related: Inquisitively; inquisitiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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