Definition of nosy in English:


(also nosey)


  • Showing too much curiosity about other people's affairs.

    ‘nosy neighbours’
    ‘stop being so nosy!’
    • ‘Sometimes it's the local fraud squad that fingers the cheats, sometimes it's a nosy neighbour, and sometimes it's just a matter of chance.’
    • ‘I suddenly feel embarrassed at appearing intrusive and nosy and I hook my own hair behind my ears and look away.’
    • ‘Keep your eyes down so they don't think you're being nosy.’
    • ‘Nobody likes a nosy neighbour much less a nosy family member.’
    • ‘However, nosy neighbours will be disappointed to hear they will not be able get their hands on the technology to satisfy their spying urges.’
    • ‘Ambiguity is the worst of all heresies in the South, where nosy neighbors share secrets and some people know everybody, for lack of better things to do.’
    • ‘The company didn't only spy on nosy journalists, however.’
    • ‘She knew better than to trust anything the nosy neighbor said.’
    • ‘State agencies and your nosy in-laws will know your every move, and if you are a target of one of those with access to the surveillance sphere, you won't find it easy to elude them.’
    • ‘‘People are nosy and instead of looking at your home they are spending precious moments looking at your photos,’ Lynne explains.’
    • ‘‘I followed them just to see what was happening, just to see what he was doing, being nosy more than anything really,’ he said.’
    • ‘I had felt uneasy about the interview, in that it all seems a bit mawkish, a bit nosy, as if there is a terrible need to pry into a life, and celebrate that life at the same time, never being quite sure of the balance.’
    • ‘As if the nosy neighbours hadn't been curious enough, Brian definitely made an entrance nobody would forget.’
    • ‘They've just moved there, but nosy neighbours begin to wonder about precisely where her father is, seeing as no one's laid eyes on him for months.’
    • ‘You ought to have a talk with those nosy neighbors of yours!’
    • ‘And nosy neighbors peering over the backyard fence can be a thing of the past.’
    • ‘By now some of the more nosey neighbors were peering out of their doors with curiosity.’
    • ‘I was playing a woman named Mary Worthless who just was just a nosy busybody.’
    • ‘Too late I realized it wasn't a nosy neighbour or friend.’
    • ‘To that end, every evening the marina staff stretch a cable across the entrance of the harbor to prevent any nosy boaters from making uninvited pit stops.’
    prying, inquisitive, curious, busybody, probing, spying, eavesdropping, intrusive
    View synonyms


  • no object, with adverbial Pry into something.

    ‘they don't nosy into your business like some people’
    • ‘This, of course, does not stop her noseying around, interfering and gossiping to her heart's content, especially to her completely hen-pecked hubby Norman.’
    • ‘But I also just adore noseying at other people's snapshots.’
    • ‘Carla has added her flag design to her blog, and since I'm up in Rotorua I thought I'd nosey through piles of dusty school projects and find the concept sketches I did for a new flag.’
    • ‘We're nosying around a suite at London's Charlotte Street Hotel while the photographer sets up.’
    • ‘I'm not sure if anyone wants to make actual contact, rather they just want to nosey at what folk are up to.’
    • ‘Nothing much else to write about Saturday, just lots of catching up and me noseying into my friends' lives.’
    • ‘In fact, arriving in the city at this time of day is perfect - a few hours to nosy around, have a quick bite and get to bed at a reasonable hour.’
    • ‘Mind you, I'm always noseying at books and coveting.’
    • ‘I had intended walking through the marvellous Kirkton Glen to Glen Dochart, but spent too much time noseying around the church instead.’
    • ‘She leaps up to fix them orange juice and cakes, leaving me to nosey around.’