Definition of inquisitive in US English:



  • 1Curious or inquiring.

    ‘he was very chatty and inquisitive about everything’
    • ‘His nature is inquisitive, always searching for an angle that he can turn to an advantage.’
    • ‘He gives me an inquisitive look, as if to enquire whether something is the matter.’
    • ‘When I was giving evidence [to the report] I felt some members had already decided who was to blame and had a very hostile and not very inquisitive manner.’
    • ‘While computer games ignited his interest in computers, his inquisitive mind made him pick up the nuances of computers in no time.’
    • ‘He may have been born with an inquisitive and highly innovative mind.’
    • ‘I suspected the lilies could be responsible as the centre of the flower is very powdery and easily digested and he was an inquisitive cat - always putting his nose into everything.’
    • ‘She said: ‘I met George and his family for the first time the week after I did the jump and I was impressed because George was very inquisitive and boisterous.’’
    • ‘This exclusive look at the couple's life in Madrid was one of those documentaries in which the spirit of freely inquisitive journalism meets the spirit of the carefully controlled promotional video and loses.’
    • ‘They are usually inquisitive and don't necessarily believe everything they are told; they can be a bit anti-authoritarian, with a rebellious streak; and they need to be very analytical.’
    • ‘Our mind becomes open, inquisitive and supple.’
    • ‘This is one scientific journey that should interest those with an inquisitive mind.’
    • ‘But it's easy to slide from that kind of inquisitive, imaginative investigation of the past to an idealization of the past and a demonization of the present.’
    • ‘Unfamiliar names do put many investors off, but an inquisitive nature can reward those tracking down cheap shares.’
    • ‘However, he remains vigilant and inquisitive when ordering his meal.’
    • ‘I've always had an inquisitive mind about everything from flowers to television sets to motor cars.’
    • ‘He was sprightly, inquisitive, interesting and, in some respects, representative of the other passengers.’
    • ‘Our inquisitive interest encompasses all levels, from the most mundane, such as how do I turn on this computer, up to such profound levels as, what is the nature of reality?’
    • ‘I felt a calm but inquisitive interest in every thing.’
    • ‘He had an intensely inquisitive mind and a great interest in the natural sciences.’
    • ‘Before obtaining the ring he was an inquisitive child with odd interests, who enjoyed causing mischief and solitary activities such as burrowing under trees to look at roots.’
    1. 1.1 Unduly curious about the affairs of others; prying.
      ‘I didn't want to seem inquisitive’
      • ‘They were quite intrusive and loud, and also inquisitive.’
      • ‘New Zealand First sees this legislation as an all-embracing, controlling, inquisitive framework, developed under the present group of Ministers.’
      • ‘Alas, this didn't work, and concern grew as my enquirer's questions became more inquisitive and her manner increasingly flirtatious.’
      • ‘Being the inquisitive, nosy guy that I am, I wanted to know what they would show about the movie before I saw the finished product.’
      • ‘In one chilling incident, a US serviceman threatened to shoot a reporter for being too inquisitive.’
      • ‘Earlier this week a child only 17 hours old was removed from his cot and exposed to a crowd of inquisitive strangers, for no other reason than to oblige his father, a struggling politician.’
      • ‘The benefits of an open internet, free from clumsy regulation and inquisitive authorities, have been huge.’
      curious, intrigued, interested, burning with curiosity, agog
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French inquisitif, -ive, from late Latin inquisitivus, from the verb inquirere (see enquire).