Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

curiosity killed the cat

curiosity killed the cat

Meaning

  • too much curiosity can lead to dangerous situations
  • being too inquisitive can get you into trouble
  • a prying behaviour can be harmful
  • used to warn someone not to ask too many questions about something

Example Sentences

  1. When he started asking too many questions of his neighbours about their whereabouts during the weekend, they warned him that curiosity killed the cat.
  2. When Jane asked George where he was going at the middle of the night, he replied that curiosity killed the cat.
  3. Joe was very curious about where Sarah was getting all her money from, but all she said was that curiosity killed the cat.
  4. He refused to answer any of our questions regarding where he spent his vacation, saying instead “curiosity killed the cat”.
  5. Though he knew all about the matter, he refused to divulge it to anyone, only saying that curiosity killed the cat.
  6. “Where are you going all of a sudden?” he asked. “Curiosity killed the cat” she replied.

Origin
The original expression was “care killed the cat”, where care was used to denote worry or sorrow. That original expression was first recorded in 1598 in Ben Jonson’s play “Every Man in His Humour.” The current expression with “curiosity” is much newer, and the earliest record can be found in 1898 in The Galveston Daily News.

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