A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 522

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 522

Cúrious. adj. [curiosus, Latin.]

  1. Inquisitive; desirous of information; addicted to enquiry.

    Be not curious in unnecessary matters; for more things are shewn unto thee than men understand. Ecclus. iii. 23.

    Even then to them the spirit of lyes suggests,
    That they were blind, because they saw not ill;
    And breath'd into their uncorrupted breasts
    A curious wish, which did corrupt their will.

  2. Attentive to; diligent about: sometimes with after.

    It is a pity a gentleman so very curious after things that were elegant and beautiful, should not have been as curious as to their origin, their uses, and their natural history. Woodward.

  3. Sometimes with of.

    Then thus a senior of the place replies,
    Well read, and curious of antiquities.
    Dryden's Fables.

  4. Accurate; careful not to mistake.

    'Till Arrianism had made it a matter of great sharpness and subtlety of wit to be a sound believing Christian, men were not curious what syllables or particles of speech they used. Hook.

  5. Difficult to please; solicitous of perfection; not negligent; full of care.

    A temperate person is not curious of fancies and deliciousness; he thinks not much, and speaks not often of meat and drink. Taylour.

  6. Exact; nice; subtle.

    Both these senses embrace their objects at greater distance, with more variety, and with a more curious discrimation, than the other sense. Holder.

  7. Artful; not neglectful; not fortuitous.

    A vaile obscur'd the sunshine of her eyes,
    The rose within herself her sweetness closed;
    Each ornament about her seemly lies,
    By curious chance, or careless art, composed.
    Fairfax, b. ii.

  8. Elegant; neat; laboured; finished.

    Understanding to devise curious works, to work in gold. Ex.

  9. Rigid; severe; rigorous.

            For curious I cannot be with you,
    Signior Baptista, of whom I hear so well.

Sources: Davies, John (45) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Ecclesiasticus (27) · The Bible - Exodus (25) · Fairfax, Edward (30) · Holder, William (38) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (71) · Taylor, Jeremy (57) · Woodward, John (78)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Curious." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 28, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/curious/.

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