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

Debuting just in time for summer, The Guild will cater to both leisure and business travelers, with nightly rates ranging from $250 to more than $400. Robert Benson/donny Cotten Photography, San Diego Union-Tribune, "$80M luxury hotel opens — in former downtown San Diego YMCA," 11 June 2019 Called Sweven Wealth Advisors — sweven is an old English word that means vision or dream — Murphy's firm will cater to clients who have come into a lot of money suddenly. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Ex-Pacer Troy Murphy living on Vegas strip helping the suddenly rich and not making a dime," 10 June 2019 Her fashion line, meanwhile, caters for women up to a size US 14. Lianne Kolirin And Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Rihanna is named as the world's wealthiest female musician," 5 June 2019 When for far too long other major makeup companies catered only to certain skin tones, body types, and hair textures, Fenty Beauty stepped up to the plate to ensure that everyone felt empowered to rock a full beat. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Actress and Activist Amandla Stenberg Is the Newest Face of Fenty Beauty," 15 May 2019 Yosses gushes—and Broadway buffs; through their company, Perfect Pie, the pair actually caters live theatrical productions. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Meet Bill Yosses, the Four Seasons Restaurant’s Brilliant Pastry Chef," 5 May 2019 As the venue for various events during the Palm Springs International Film Festival or Coachella Music Festival, the five-star hotel has always catered to an A-list crowd. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "What to Do on Your Next Trip to Palm Springs," 5 Mar. 2019 But despite its topicality, the L Train Shutdown Nightmare, tickets for which run between $20 and $35, does not cater to the ’gram in the same way the Nightmare Machine does. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "The Halloween experience in 2018 is less spooky and more selfies.," 22 Oct. 2018 Seokyong Lee—Bloomberg/Getty Images Allegations the South Korean government has catered to the American alliance at the expense of its citizens date back decades. Time, "Inside Camp Humphreys, South Korea: America's Largest Overseas Military Base," 13 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

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cater

The first known use of cater was in 1580

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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

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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 with exaggerated bouncy motions

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