Curiousity vs.Curiosity — Which is Correct?

The word “curious” refers to someone who is always on the lookout for new information and is eager to learn more. A learner that is eager to know is always anxious to make inquiries.

How Do you Spell Curiosity?

Curiosity is a noun and is spelled cu·ri·os·i·ty. It is prounounced as (kyo͝or′ē-ŏs′ĭ-tē). Its plural form is curiosities.

Curiosity is a commonly misspelled word. Both native and non-native English speakers often misspell the word by adding the letter “u” in the middle of curiosity like this: Curiousity. 

This is understandable as curious from where it is drawn has a “u.” You will learn why the ‘u’ is dropped in the next section.

Let us see how we can make this spelling stick in our heads. How do you spell curiosity?

Method 1: Spell the word ‘curious’ and pause. Cross out the ‘u’ and then finish by adding ‘-ity.’

Method 2: C-ur-ios (See your IOS!). Mnemonics always come to the rescue! Can you think of something better?

Root Word of Curiosity

The root word is “cure.”

cur(e) + I + ous = curious

cur(e) + i(o)s + ity = curiosity

Curiosity evolved from Latin cūriōsitās. The “e” is always dropped when a suffix that starts with a vowel is added. The “u” is dropped in “curiosity” because of a different spelling pattern for words that end in “ity”. So, when adding the suffix “-ity” to a word ending with the suffix “-ous,” drop the “u.” 

Another word that follows this pattern is “luminous,” which became “luminosity.”

Root words ending with -ious

It consists of a compound suffix made up of the suffix (-ous) and an “I” that is part of another suffix. It is written in Latin as (-iosus) and French as (-ieux).

Root words ending with -ous

Even if an adjective in (-ous) is derived from Latin (-sus). The suffix (-osity) is frequently used to produce nouns of quality, such as curiosity.

Words with -osity

Old French’s direct answer to Latin (-ositat) was (-ouseté), which can be found in Middle English as (-ouste). Nouns are made from adjectives that end in (-ous). Loanwords from this time that had the ending (-ty) but were still used were later changed to end in (-osity). This happened with words like “contrariosity” and “curiosity.” 

Other examples include “religiosty,” “voluptuousty,” and “hidousty,” which were changed to “religiosity,” “voluptuosity,” and “hidousty.”

Sentence Examples of Curiosity

  • She filled them in on some of the curiosities of the artwork
  • Curiosity got the better of her, so she called him
  • Out of curiosity, she peered through the walls.

 To Wrap Up

The word “curiosity” is a noun and can be used as an adjective or a verb. If a word describes a person finding something out, it may also be used as a verb to say that person is curious.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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