curate, n. 1. [late 19C] a small poker, with an iron tip; such a poker is actually used, as opposed to the elaborate brass fire-irons, displayed only for show. 2. [late 19C] a handkerchief that is actually used, rather than one that is worn for fashionable display. 3. [late 19C] the top half of a sliced teacake, which receives less butter. 4. [late 19C–1900s] a grocer’s assistant. 5. [late 19C–1940s] an assistant barman.