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CURATE, eccl. law. One who represents the incumbent of a church, person, or20 vicar, and takes care of the church, and performs divine service in his stead.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
"That!" said the curate, when presently it happened again.
For a time the curate was silent, and then he whispered:
I could just see the curate's face, a dim, oval shape, and his collar and cuffs.
I told the curate I was going to seek food, and felt my way towards the pantry.
"Consider, Maillard," said the curate, "that I have recommended you to this gentleman, who is a powerful lord, and that I have made myself responsible for you."
he will let you into the rooms in his tower," said the curate.
The Count de Villeroy said that "he did not know how any fear could be entertained for a moment, when the court had, to defend itself against the parliament and the citizens of Paris, his holiness the coadjutor, who by a signal could raise an army of curates, church porters and vergers."
When once more alone Gondy sent to summon all the curates with whom he had any connection to his house.
"Certainly," replied the Jesuit, a little put out, while the curate, greatly delighted, turned upon D'Artagnan a look full of gratitude.
"Place the HANDS," repeated the curate, with a gesture.
"You will be lost," said the curate, shaking his head sorrowfully.
Ah, my young friend," added the curate, groaning, "do not regret the devil, I implore you!"