ca·​ter | \ ˈkā-tər \
catered; catering; caters

Definition of cater

intransitive verb

1 : to provide a supply of food cater for a large party
2 : to supply what is required or desired catering to middle-class tastes

transitive verb

: to provide food and service for catered the banquet

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Other Words from cater

caterer \ ˈkā-​tər-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for cater


board, feed, provision, victual

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Examples of cater in a Sentence

The restaurant caters for parties. A local restaurant catered the banquet. The awards ceremony will be a catered event.
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Recent Examples on the Web

According to Djawadi, many Afghan families have tried growing gandana, but the Bay Area’s weather doesn’t cater to the plant. Ilaf Esuf, SELF, "How 10 People Cook the Foods They Grew Up With After Immigrating to the United States," 4 Jan. 2019 In 2016 an ingenious French catering company called Les Cuistots Migrateurs co-organized a festival at which newly arrived immigrant chefs took over dozens of restaurants around Paris, Lyon, Madrid, and Rome. Grant Cornett, Vogue, "The Rise of Refugee Cuisine—a Food-World Trend to Feel Good About," 17 Aug. 2018 Managing a staff, creating new dishes, catering events in unexpected and new spaces. NBC News, "#RedefineAtoZ: Kiki Aranita wants to represent her culture through food," 1 May 2018 Juicy-O caters events big and small, from breakfast meetings to wedding showers and baptisms. Jane Donahue, Naperville Sun, "Treat yourself to Juicy-O, including free doughnuts," 13 Mar. 2018 Well Crafted Pizza’s mobile business — built on the back of a 1949 Dodge truck — will continue catering private events. Sarah Meehan,, "Well Crafted Pizza will open an eatery at Union Collective," 12 Mar. 2018 Some state and local politicians blamed Seattle for not catering enough to big business. Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times, "We freaked out over Amazon’s HQ2 search. But it turned out to be for all the wrong reasons," 13 Nov. 2018 Though the market for business catering remains smaller than catering for social and personal events, Mallett said businesses are much more prone to common, repeat business. Andy Rosen,, "Boston catering marketplace ezCater takes on international expansion," 19 June 2018 Casey, 38, worked for Starr for 10 years and is now in catering sales for Kimpton Hotels. Michael Klein,, "Porch & Proper aims to bring romance to Collingswood," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cater.' 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 cater

1580, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for cater

obsolete cater buyer of provisions, from Middle English catour, short for acatour, from Anglo-French, from acater to buy — more at cate

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Statistics for cater

Last Updated

22 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cater

The first known use of cater was in 1580

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English Language Learners Definition of cater

: to provide food and drinks at a party, meeting, etc., especially as a job


ca·​ter | \ ˈkā-tər \
catered; catering

Kids Definition of cater

1 : to provide a supply of food cater for parties
2 : to supply what is needed or wanted

Other Words from cater

caterer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on cater

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cater

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cater

Spanish Central: Translation of cater

Nglish: Translation of cater for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cater for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cater

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


a servile follower or underling

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