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From Middle English curious, corious, from Old French curios, from Latin curiosus.



curious (comparative curiouser or more curious, superlative curiousest or most curious)

  1. (obsolete) Fastidious, particular; demanding a high standard of excellence, difficult to satisfy.
    • 1612, John Smith, Proceedings of the English Colonie in Virginia, in Kupperman 1988, p.172:
      But departing thence, when we found no houses, we were not curious in any weather, to lie 3 or 4 nights together upon any shore under the trees by a good fire.
    • Thomas Fuller (1606-1661)
      little curious in her clothes
  2. Inquisitive; tending to ask questions, investigate, or explore.
    Young children are naturally curious about the world and everything in it.
  3. Prompted by curiosity.
  4. Unusual; odd; out of the ordinary; bizarre.
    The platypus is a curious creature, with fur like a mammal and a beak like a bird.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile ; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.
  5. (archaic) Exhibiting care or nicety; artfully constructed; elaborate; wrought with elegance or skill.
    • And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      his body couched in a curious bed


Related terms[edit]