Definition of curio in English:

curio

noun

  • A rare, unusual, or intriguing object.

    • ‘Hundreds of hawkers line the roads along the perimeter, competing with dozens of shops selling everything from curios to readymade garments and foreign goods to Ayurvedic products.’
    • ‘His mother was a collector of curios and ornaments; the kind of thing that would now be sold at antique markets.’
    • ‘They have moved from a large house into a two-bed apartment - and need to get rid of a lifetime collection of antiques, ornaments and curios.’
    • ‘There were no pictures on the walls, curios in the cabinets, or even books on the shelves.’
    • ‘To choose the aesthetic-looking vases and decorative curios like lamps, cushions, candles, table linen and curtains, Sita travels to remotest corners of the world.’
    • ‘It is a common device in the literature and cinema of the macabre and the fantastic that an object - often a painting but sometimes a mirror, a statue or a curio - will haunt its protagonists.’
    • ‘The house was done out with period rooms with displays of 19th century curios and antique nick-nacks.’
    • ‘This letter is one of the treasured curios in the collection of a professional photographer in the city.’
    • ‘Everyday objects such as ice cream sticks became transformed into vases, penholders, photo frames and curios.’
    • ‘For most of the morning the craft stalls on the wharf were visited by people buying curios - from fridge magnets to beaded traditional Xhosa garments and wood carvings.’
    • ‘One boy has a tray displaying battered curios salvaged from the area - American name tags, medals, twisted knives and forks.’
    • ‘Most of us tend to entertain our friends in the family room; a formal dining room becomes a mail sorting place, and a formal living room is a museum for curios and uncomfortable furniture.’
    • ‘Stalls displaying various kinds of glass furniture, wooden curios, clothes, etc., have become a regular feature of such shows.’
    • ‘In terms of shopping, there are opportunities galore if you are in the market for trendy garments, toys, Chinese silks, antiques and curios.’
    • ‘On show are hand-made candles, drawings, African curios, sculptures made from clay and photographs.’
    • ‘This annual event complements the regular antique market to be found on every Thursday and Sunday between May and September, featuring antiques, curios and books.’
    • ‘The units make trays of different shapes, fruit baskets, stands, lamp shades, curios, mats, pen stands, wall hangings, screens, hair clips and even pappad sticks.’
    • ‘Billed as a showcase for exemplary new talent, the series has proven to be more of a bargain bin for antiquated curios.’
    • ‘People seem to have fun when they visit me, and many have commented on the nick-nacks, curios and collection of spears, swords and Viking treasure that dominate the decor downstairs.’
    • ‘Exhibitions of artefacts, curios and products of everyday use are one of the indispensable aspects of city life.’
    trinket, knick-knack, bibelot, ornament, bauble, gimcrack, gewgaw
    antique, collector's item, object of virtu, rarity, curiosity
    objet, objet d'art
    kickshaw
    whatnot, dingle-dangle
    doodah, doobry
    tchotchke, tsatske
    folderol, furbelow, whim-wham, bijou, gaud, bygone
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 19th century: abbreviation of curiosity.

Pronunciation:

curio

/ˈkyo͝orēˌō/