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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Podcasts cater not only to a massive and growing audience, but also to an extremely loyal and committed one. Tyler Shepherd, USA TODAY, 25 June 2024 The lunches, which started in 1977, are catered by Cafe Primavera and reflect the cuisine of different nations — along with a vegetarian option each week. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, 22 June 2024 And in his time as head of school at The Master’s School, Lagan used Fitzgerald’s for catering. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 19 May 2024 Metro Food Rescue will pick up prepared and unserved food, drinks and snacks from vendors and catering in the NFL draft area until May 6. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 16 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for cater 

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 18 Jul. 2024.

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

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