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

Its curators stressed the role that architects and other designers could play in solving problems like climate change. Blair Kamin,, "The artistic director of the new Architecture Biennial wants to speak directly to Chicago," 29 Aug. 2019 The photographer and curator Jack Shear, Kelly’s husband, purchased the archive earlier this year from Felsen and donated it to the Getty. Los Angeles Times, "Why the Getty Research Institute acquired Gemini G.E.L. co-founder Sidney B. Felsen’s photo archive," 26 Aug. 2019 The campaign also includes Kimberly Drew who is a writer, activist, and curator who advocates for black representation within the art community. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Reebok Launches "It's A Man's World" Campaign Starring Five Female Creatives," 23 Aug. 2019 To mark Child's birthday this year, Smithsonian curator Paula Johnson penned a fascinating article on the cookbook author and her kitchen. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Celebrate Julia Child's 107th Birthday with a Trip to Her Kitchen," 16 Aug. 2019 For this year’s exhibition of BCA studio artists, curator Jameson Johnson invited participants to create site-specific installations using resonant objects from their practices or their lives., "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 16 Aug. 2019 Johnson, a collector and curator, will discuss his interest in Degas and his approach to collecting and bringing together works by well-known artists. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Art collector to give lecture on his collection featured at museum," 8 Aug. 2019 Part of that conversation should re-imagine the atrocities of American history, so society can alter its current route, according to Hasaan Kirkland, NAAM’s curator. Marcus Harrison Green, The Seattle Times, "See how a Seattle artist is telling the painful story of redlining in his city," 8 Aug. 2019 At the Witte Museum, curator Amy Fulkerson found a record of a 12-and-a-half-pound cannonball donated by Evan M. Todd, who was supervisor of both the La Villita and Witte NYA projects. Paula Allen,, "Mystery of cannonball found at San Antonio’s La Villita in 1939 remains unsolved," 3 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near curator





curator bonis



Statistics for curator

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for curator

The first known use of curator was in 1561

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More Definitions for curator



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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Comments on curator

What made you want to look up curator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


readily or continually undergoing change

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