ca·​ter ˈkā-tər How to pronounce cater (audio)
catered; catering; caters

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to provide food and service for
catered the banquet
caterer noun

Example Sentences

The restaurant caters for parties. A local restaurant catered the banquet. The awards ceremony will be a catered event.
Recent Examples on the Web Redstone Arsenal has Fox Army Health Center, a medical facility for prescriptions and basic services that caters mostly to retirees in the area. Courtney Kube, NBC News, 15 May 2023 Anyone minoritized in the workplace will be poorly catered for and misunderstood. Nancy Doyle, Forbes, 7 May 2023 Nobel, which took over catering at the Milwaukee Public Museum on May 1, will now also run the cafe. Jordyn Noennig, Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2023 Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, which catered mostly to the tech industry, both collapsed in March under similar circumstances. Adriana Morga, Fortune, 1 May 2023 Looking to elevate its culinary options, the festival is also introducing Wally's BBQ Pit, with barbecue staples and specialty drinks catered by Millennium Hall. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 29 Apr. 2023 Stream it Here 16 Hotel del Luna #1 hotel for your journey to the afterlife | Hotel Del Luna Highlights | Netflix [ENG SUB] Watch on This fantasy show follows the owner and the manager of a hotel that caters only to ghosts with unfinished business before going to the afterlife. Milan Polk, Men's Health, 28 Apr. 2023 Settling in Money, a tiny Delta town, the couple ran Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market, which catered mainly to Black sharecroppers. Margalit Fox, New York Times, 27 Apr. 2023 As the entrepreneurs are coming to the space, the Allens spend time connecting participating businesses with contracting job opportunities, such as in catering. Detroit Free Press, 15 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cater.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1580, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cater was in 1580

Dictionary Entries Near cater

Cite this Entry

“Cater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


ca·​ter ˈkāt-ər How to pronounce cater (audio)
: to provide a supply of food
cater for parties
: to supply what is wanted or needed
caterer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on cater

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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