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 \ -​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

Most visitors to the Northwest Angle just come up for the weekend to fish, but about sixty Americans live there full time, mostly working the lodges that cater to tourists. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Tiny Minnesota Town Is Completely Surrounded by Canada," 5 Nov. 2018 Shares of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, are down nearly 17% in October, while State Street, a custody bank that caters to investment firms, has dropped about 19%. Justin Baer, WSJ, "Asset Managers Have Led Market Decline, a Bad Sign for Stocks," 25 Oct. 2018 Andronis Concept is a sophisticated and warm resort that caters to your mind, body and spirit in beautiful Imerovigli. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "The Best Room At...Andronis Concept Santorini," 13 Sep. 2018 Somewhere in the middle, though, lies the Microsoft apps and services that explicitly cater to the consumer—and have been first on the firing line in the past years. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's pledge to win back the consumer needs to be more than just words," 20 July 2018 El Ahorro, another grocer that caters to the Hispanic market, took over a former Kroger store at Airline Drive and Parker Road in north Houston. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Grocery stores are filling Houston’s new and old spaces," 5 July 2018 The Serenity section is an oasis of calm on ships that generally cater to noisy children, frenetic pool games, and loud music. David G. Molyneaux, miamiherald, "Carnival, that most American of cruise lines, won't return to Europe any time soon," 5 July 2018 Chad Millman, head of media for the Action Network, doesn't see the parallel conversations merging entirely but does see a growing audience hungry for information that finally will be catered to. Rick Maese,, "A safe bet: Legal gambling could change the way we watch, talk and experience sports," 5 July 2018 There are also new cocktails that purposely cater to every weakness. Celestina Blok, star-telegram, "Restaurant news: South Main grows, Sundance gets Funky and Waterside goes coastal," 5 July 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

15 Nov 2018

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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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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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