Definition of curator in English:



  • 1A keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection.

    • ‘I have often felt sorry for the curators at the Royal Collection.’
    • ‘The artists are up-and-comers and players in the Sydney art scene and the curators are museum big wigs and people in the know.’
    • ‘The noise and lights derive not from history, but from the present manipulations of Imperial War Museum curators.’
    • ‘A wrinkled old hill woman was the sole curator and keeper of the gallery then.’
    • ‘Museum curators saw a shift from artists' hopelessness to a desperate need to contribute something to society.’
    • ‘The Whitney Museum recruited six outside curators to help select this year's biennial.’
    • ‘The sale had been eagerly anticipated by collectors and museum curators.’
    • ‘Very few museum curators have the opportunity or the budget to be so single-minded, to collect in depth in a highly specialised area.’
    • ‘I know all the museum curators in the world and there is not one to match Tim's genius.’
    • ‘It is a group of presentations hosted by an artist curator or, as in one case, architect.’
    • ‘With the permission of the curator of the National Museum, we were allowed to see the work in progress.’
    • ‘A curator from the local museum was there in the U.K. as part of this scheme.’
    • ‘Unlike many museum exhibitions, the curators provided the information to the viewer in manageable pieces.’
    • ‘The curators of the museum have changed the content of the turbine room a few times since the museum opened.’
    • ‘This lag in attention has yet to be fully addressed by contemporary West Coast museums and curators.’
    • ‘Since then, museum curators across the world have largely agreed not to exhibit mummified body parts out of respect for the dead.’
    • ‘It certainly wasn't a word you heard uttered by museum curators.’
    • ‘Collectors, dealers and curators in specialised areas all knew each other, and there was supply enough to satisfy everyone.’
    • ‘Kindly the curator of the museum had made a display of a few of about 20 of the items you might see on your visit in the front window.’
    • ‘The process involves 30 keepers, curators and registrars making a note of every single creature in the zoo.’
    custodian, keeper, conservator, guardian, caretaker, steward
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person who selects acts to perform at a music festival.
      • ‘Next month, as curator of the Meltdown festival, she will play it in its entirety on stage for the first time.’


Late Middle English (denoting an ecclesiastical pastor, also (still a Scots legal term) the guardian of a minor): from Old French curateur or, in later use, directly from Latin curator, from curare (see cure). The current sense dates from the mid 17th century.