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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Curiosity


CURIOSITY, noun [Latin See Curious.]

1. A strong desire to see something novel, or to discover something unknown, either by research or inquiry; a desire to gratify the senses with a sight of what is new or unusual, or to gratify the mind with new discoveries; inquisitiveness. A mans curiosity leads him to view the ruins of Balbec, to investigate the origin of Homer, to discover the component parts of a mineral, or the motives of anothers actions.

2. Nicety; delicacy.

3. Accuracy; exactness; nice performance; curiousness; as the curiosity of workmanship.

4. A nice experiment; a thing unusual or worthy of curiosity

There hath been practiced a curiosity to set a tree on the north side of a walk and at a little height, to draw it through the wall, etc.

5. An object of curiosity; that which excites a desire of seeing, or deserves to be seen, as novel and extraordinary.

We took a ramble together to see the curiosities of this great town.

[The first and last senses are chiefly used.]