Definition of nosy in US English:


(also nosey)


  • (of a person or their behavior) showing too much curiosity about other people's affairs.

    ‘he had to whisper to avoid being overheard by their nosy neighbors’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, nosy neighbours will be disappointed to hear they will not be able get their hands on the technology to satisfy their spying urges.’
    • ‘Nobody likes a nosy neighbour much less a nosy family member.’
    • ‘The company didn't only spy on nosy journalists, however.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Too late I realized it wasn't a nosy neighbour or friend.’
    • ‘‘I followed them just to see what was happening, just to see what he was doing, being nosy more than anything really,’ he said.’
    • ‘You ought to have a talk with those nosy neighbors of yours!’
    • ‘She knew better than to trust anything the nosy neighbor said.’
    • ‘By now some of the more nosey neighbors were peering out of their doors with curiosity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And nosy neighbors peering over the backyard fence can be a thing of the past.’
    • ‘Keep your eyes down so they don't think you're being nosy.’
    • ‘I suddenly feel embarrassed at appearing intrusive and nosy and I hook my own hair behind my ears and look away.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As if the nosy neighbours hadn't been curious enough, Brian definitely made an entrance nobody would forget.’
    • ‘‘People are nosy and instead of looking at your home they are spending precious moments looking at your photos,’ Lynne explains.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was playing a woman named Mary Worthless who just was just a nosy busybody.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘I had intended walking through the marvellous Kirkton Glen to Glen Dochart, but spent too much time noseying around the church instead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We're nosying around a suite at London's Charlotte Street Hotel while the photographer sets up.’
    • ‘Mind you, I'm always noseying at books and coveting.’
    • ‘I'm not sure if anyone wants to make actual contact, rather they just want to nosey at what folk are up to.’
    • ‘But I also just adore noseying at other people's snapshots.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She leaps up to fix them orange juice and cakes, leaving me to nosey around.’
    • ‘Nothing much else to write about Saturday, just lots of catching up and me noseying into my friends' lives.’
    • ‘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.’