noun cu·ra·tor \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər , ˈkyər- ; kyu̇-ˈrā- ; ˈkyu̇r-ə- , ˈkyər- \
|Updated on: 8 Jul 2018

Definition of curator

: one who has the care and superintendence of something; especially : one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibit


play \ˌkyu̇r-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl, ˌkyər-\ adjective


play \ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər-ˌship, ˈkyər-; kyu̇-ˈrā-; ˈkyu̇r-ə-, ˈkyər-\ noun

Recent Examples of curator from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

In a good-sized art museum, each curator is generally responsible for a single department or collection: European painting, Asian sculpture, Native American art, and so on. Curatorial duties include acquiring new artworks, caring for and repairing objects already owned, discovering frauds and counterfeits, lending artworks to other museums, and mounting exhibitions of everything from Greek sculpture to 20th-century clothing.

Origin and Etymology of curator

borrowed from Latin cūrātor "one who looks after, superintendent, guardian," from cūrāre "to watch over, attend" + -tor, agent suffix — more at 2cure

CURATOR Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of curator for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is in charge of the things in a museum, zoo, etc.

CURATOR Defined for Kids


noun cu·ra·tor \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər , kyu̇-ˈrā- , ˈkyu̇r-ə- \

Definition of curator for Students

: a person in charge of a museum or zoo

Word Root of curator

The Latin word cūrāre, meaning “to care,” gives us the root cur. Words from the Latin cūrāre have something to do with giving care. A cure, something that heals sickness, is something that cares for someone's health. Anything accurate has been carefully measured or supplied so that it is free from mistakes. A curator is a person who cares for the things in a museum.

Law Dictionary


noun cu·ra·tor \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər, kyu̇-ˈrā-tər \

legal Definition of curator

in the civil law of Louisiana : a person appointed by a court to care for the property of an absent person or to care for the person or property of someone mentally incapable of doing so — compare committee, conservator, guardian, interdict, tutor



Origin and Etymology of curator

Latin, guardian, from curare to take care of

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