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

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Other Words from cater

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

The fitness industry has long been catering to a predominantly white audience. SELF, "Trainers and Fitness Pros Can't Help People of Color While Remaining Silent About Racism," 1 Nov. 2018 As family travel has evolved into a $500 billion industry, based on numbers from the Family Travel Association, properties are catering to their littlest guests in ways that reflect their locales, just as for adults. Sarah Firshein,, "Little Rich Kids Are Living Their Best Lives at Over-the-Top Resorts," 27 Apr. 2018 Since the 1980s, residents of San José de la Paz have opened hundreds of Mexican restaurants across the South catering to non-Latino diners. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "How Latin America’s Arroz con Pollo Got Its Cheesy Southern Makeover," 9 Apr. 2018 The store specializes in Korean and other Asian food items, and is one of several Naperville stores catering to the city’s Indian and Asian communities. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Naperville's growing Asian population draws new businesses to long-vacant spots," 31 Mar. 2018 With gun-advocacy groups investing heavily in youth recruitment and manufacturers catering to an emerging children’s market, the shooting sports are gaining in popularity. Sharif Hamza, The New Yorker, "A new generation of American kids embraces firearms.," 19 Mar. 2018 The good news is that more and more restaurants are catering to meatless customers, which now number approximately 8 million adults in the United States, with many more trying to eat less meat in general for health reasons. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "How to make fast food healthier for vegetarians and vegans," 8 Mar. 2018 One project that was also really fulfilling for our team to work on was our nail polish collection with Orly, which was the first brand collaboration catered toward Muslim women consumers in the U.S. marketplace. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "What MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Wants to See From the Beauty Industry in 2019," 27 Mar. 2019 Given the Magnolia empire's thousands of weekly attendees, the coffee shop will cater to passersby with a carry-out window and both indoor and outdoor seating. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Chip and Joanna Gaines Are Opening a Coffee Shop So Plan Your Trip to Waco Now," 20 Feb. 2019

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

19 Apr 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 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

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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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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