ca·ter | \ ˈkā-tər \
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 \-tər-ər \ 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

Shoppers have been asking for this, and J.Crew is finally taking a big step towards catering to plus-size shoppers. Ana Colon, Glamour, "J.Crew Will Offer Sizes Up to 5X," 10 July 2018 In addition to its ample restaurant seating, River also offers space for catering and special events, with plans for more seating and an outdoor bar and grill below its deck closer to the riverfront. Leeanne Griffin,, "River: An Italian-Inspired, Waterfront Restaurant With An Unrivaled View," 18 June 2018 The two of the largest U.S. shipbuilders, General Dynamics Corp. and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., are thriving on a different business model by catering to military ships. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Philadelphia Shipyard Struggles to Survive on Order Drought," 31 May 2018 The French Kitchen restaurant at the Lord Baltimore Hotel is transitioning into a space for catering and special events. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Lord Baltimore Hotel's French Kitchen becoming catering and event space," 30 May 2018 Managers must focus as much effort on catering to politicians as to customers, not just through campaign contributions but through bribes, both subtle and overt. Sendhil Mullainathan, New York Times, "When the President Takes On Amazon, Nobody Wins," 18 May 2018 According to a study in 2016 by catering supply website, pizza was the top entrée on the service with 19.7 million images shared, following by sushi (13.4 million) and chicken (11.9 million). Jay Samit, Fortune, "Virtual Food Is Coming to a Menu Near You," 15 May 2018 Goldman Sachs had gotten to the top by catering to the types of companies that ruled financial markets for decades: long-short hedge funds and active asset managers. Hugh Son,, "Wall Street’s Big Banks Are Waging an All-Out Technological Arms Race," 5 Apr. 2018 Winning isn’t all about catering to five-star recruits and courting McDonald’s All-Americans. Christopher L. Gasper,, "Villanova has found the Wright way to win an NCAA title," 3 Apr. 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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Phrases Related to cater

cater to

Statistics for cater

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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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 \
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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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).


an open space surrounded by woods

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