Last modified on 6 June 2014, at 03:34

curiosity

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From Anglo-Norman curiouseté, from Latin cūriōsitātem, from cūriōsus.

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: kyoo͞r"ēŏs'ətē, IPA(key): /ˌkjʊərɪˈɒsɪti/
  • (file)

NounEdit

curiosity (plural curiosities)

  1. (obsolete) Careful, delicate construction; fine workmanship, delicacy of building. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1631, John Smith, Advertisements, in Kupperman 1988, p. 81:
      wee built a homely thing like a barne, set upon Cratchets, covered with rafts, sedge, and earth, so also was the walls; the best of our houses of the like curiosity, but the most part farre much worse workmanship [...].
  2. Inquisitiveness; the tendency to ask and learn about things by asking questions, investigating, or exploring. [from 17th c.]
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
      It was the first time that the lawyer had been received in that part of his friend's quarters; and he eyed the dingy, windowless structure with curiosity, and gazed round with a distasteful sense of strangeness as he crossed the theatre
    • 1956, Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, p 39:
      "Certainly there is nothing wrong with Alvin's intelligence, but many of the things that should concern him seem to be a matter of complete indifference. On the other hand, he shows a morbid curiosity regarding subjects which we do not generally discuss."
    • 2013 September-October, Terrie Moffitt et al., “Lifelong Impact of Early Self-Control”, American Scientist: 
      Curiosity about the power of self-control skills, which include conscientiousness, self-discipline, and perseverance, arose from recent empirical observations that preschool Head Start, an ambitious, federally funded program of special services launched in 1965 to boost the intellectual development of needy children, has failed to achieve the goal of boosting IQ scores. But the programs have unexpectedly succeeded in lowering the former pupils’ rates of teen pregnancy, school dropout, delinquency, and work absenteeism.
  3. A unique or extraordinary object which arouses interest. [from 17th c.]
    He put the strangely shaped rock in his curiosity cabinet.

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