ca·​ter | \ ˈkā-tər How to pronounce cater (audio) \
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

Other Words from cater

caterer \ ˈkā-​tər-​ər How to pronounce cater (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for cater


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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 In addition to housekeeping and butler service, guests get their private chef and a concierge to cater to their every need. Anja Mutic, Travel + Leisure, 19 Jan. 2022 But some who cater to conservatives could jump at the chance to sign him. Michael Tarm, Amy Forliti, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Nov. 2021 The finance industry’s palpable excitement is electrifying to climate activists and the politicians who cater to them. Joshua Rauh And Mels De Zeeuw, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2021 Powell’s is positioning itself as a local bookstore, run by people who cater to idiosyncratic tastes, now reachable online. New York Times, 9 Nov. 2021 Each coach comes complete with just 14 seats (a typical bus would have closer to 50), a spacious restroom and a galley with an attendant to cater to your every whim. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 8 Nov. 2021 Our primary way of finding these small businesses is working with government agencies and other nonprofits who cater to these small businesses. Mary Juetten, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Department stores have been hurt by the shrinking of the middle class that made up their client base, while discounters who cater to lower-income consumers, such as TJ Maxx and Dollar General, have actually seen growth. The Week Staff, The Week, 7 Aug. 2021 Other companies like Dell embraced products that cater to the hybrid work trend. Samantha Murphy Kelly And Clare Duffy, CNN, 8 Jan. 2022

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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Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for cater



English Language Learners Definition of cater

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


ca·​ter | \ ˈkā-tər How to pronounce cater (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on cater

Nglish: Translation of cater for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cater for Arabic Speakers


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