cu·​ra·​tor | \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər How to pronounce curator (audio) , ˈkyər-; kyu̇-ˈrā-; ˈkyu̇r-ə-, ˈkyər- How to pronounce curator (audio) \

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

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Other Words from curator

curatorial \ ˌkyu̇r-​ə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce curatorial (audio) , ˌkyər-​ \ adjective
curatorship \ ˈkyu̇r-​ˌā-​tər-​ˌship How to pronounce curatorship (audio) , ˈkyər-​ ; kyu̇-​ˈrā-​ ; ˈkyu̇r-​ə-​ , ˈkyər-​ \ noun

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.

Examples of curator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The curator of the Little Wiz Fire Museum at 326 E. Smith Road in Medina shared that passion with about 30 members and guests at Monday’s (Feb. 10) Medina County Historical Society membership meeting in the A.I. Root Company community room. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Little Wiz Fire Museum curator shares history of firefighting in Medina," 12 Feb. 2020 Jay Spenser, a museum curator at the National Air and Space Museum, told the New York Times. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Tail winds help British Airways flight break record for fastest subsonic trip from New York to London," 10 Feb. 2020 The show was organized by Suheyla Takesh, curator at the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the collection from which the artworks have been drawn, and Lynn Gumpert, director at the Grey. Lance Esplund, WSJ, "‘Taking Shape: Abstraction From the Arab World, 1950s-1980s’ Review: A History of Flux and Formation," 4 Feb. 2020 Or at least that’s what one curator at the Bronx Zoo found after testing 24 different scents on cheetahs, leopards, and tigers. Antonia Noori Farzan,, "An English zoo’s jungle cats would like your leftover perfume. Preferably Calvin Klein.," 1 Feb. 2020 Some of the other astronauts are assigned to the two Commercial Crew vehicles being developed by Boeing and SpaceX for flight in 2020, says Mike Neufeld, senior curator at the National Air and Space Museum’s Space History Department. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "What Bird Lays the Biggest Eggs Compared to Its Body Size? Where Does ‘Lame Duck’ Come From? And More Questions From Our Readers," 20 Dec. 2019 Owens, a curator at the Depot Museum in Joyce, a community about 50 miles east of Neah Bay, believes the hunt is unnecessary and cruel. Susanne Rust, Anchorage Daily News, "A tribe in Washington state wants to resume whale hunting. Should it revive this tradition?," 8 Dec. 2019 Gorini may have felt his team behaved in jest, however the gesture itself has painful roots, Adriel Luis, curator at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, told NBC News. Kimmy Yam, NBC News, "Italian chef apologizes for racist slant-eye pose," 5 Dec. 2019 Moderator will be Steven Luckert, senior program curator at USHMM. Sergio Carmona,, "U.S. Holocaust Museum to present anti-Semitism discussion in Boca," 4 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of curator

1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for curator

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

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Time Traveler for curator

Time Traveler

The first known use of curator was in 1561

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Statistics for curator

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for curator


How to pronounce curator (audio) How to pronounce curator (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of curator

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


cu·​ra·​tor | \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər How to pronounce curator (audio) , kyu̇-ˈrā-, ˈkyu̇r-ə- \

Kids Definition of curator

: a person in charge of a museum or zoo


cu·​ra·​tor | \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər, kyu̇-ˈrā-tər How to pronounce curator (audio) \

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

Other Words from curator

curatorship noun

History and Etymology for curator

Latin, guardian, from curare to take care of

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