cu·​ra·​tor ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər How to pronounce curator (audio)
ˈkyər- How to pronounce curator (audio)
plural curators
: a person who oversees or manages a place (such as a museum or zoo) that offers exhibits
"My passion for animal care and collection management really drove me to become a curator."Scott Newland
also : a person at a museum, zoo, etc. who is in charge of a specific collection or subject area
the curator of manuscripts
curatorial adjective
ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər-ˌship How to pronounce curator (audio)

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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 Los Angeles County Museum of Art has hired Diana Nawi as curator of contemporary art. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 4 July 2024 Lauren Cross is the curator for the National Juneteenth Museum and an assistant professor at the University of North Texas. Kamal Morgan, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 3 July 2024 The invitation was open-ended, but a curator for the museum argued with Gilliam over the direction his installation was taking — so Gilliam chucked the piece into the swimming pool. Kriston Capps, Washington Post, 3 July 2024 Architect Sean Anderson, a former associate curator at The Museum of Modern Art, is behind the abode’s contemporary design, which was built by Gavan Construction. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 3 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for curator 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'curator.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1660, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of curator was in 1660

Dictionary Entries Near curator

Cite this Entry

“Curator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


cu·​ra·​tor ˈkyu̇(ə)r-ˌāt-ər How to pronounce curator (audio) kyu̇-ˈrāt- How to pronounce curator (audio)
: a person in charge of a museum or zoo
curatorship noun

Legal Definition


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
curatorship noun

Latin, guardian, from curare to take care of

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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