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

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 Retired Teachers Christmas Luncheon SEARCY — The White County Retired Teachers Association will meet at noon Dec. 9 at the Carmichael Community Center, 801 S. Elm St. Daisy’s Lunchbox will cater the group’s Christmas luncheon. Arkansas Online, "COMMUNITY EVENTS IN THE THREE RIVERS AREA," 2 Dec. 2019 Kerr struggled with this in training camp, knowing the perpetual ball movement of recent seasons catered to the strengths of Curry and Draymond Green. Ron Kroichick,, "Warriors head coach Steve Kerr adapts to strange, new world of futility," 24 Nov. 2019 There are thousands of other podcasts, some of which cater to broad audiences while some are produced for a niche audience. oregonlive, "What’s a podcast, and how do I listen to it? A guide," 25 Oct. 2019 Glossier Lash Stick Say bye, bye to watery eyes or irritating contacts because of mascaras that don’t cater to sensitive eyes. Teen Vogue, "14 Best Mascaras of 2019," 21 Oct. 2019 The park and the greater downtown area cater to people who want to walk to work and restaurants, bars and other attractions and to enjoy the outdoors in parks and other green space, Gerrish said. Madison Iszler,, "Developer breaks ground on 323-unit complex along San Pedro Creek," 1 July 2019 Some helped build the festival industry a half-century ago; some cater to devotees of niche genres; some are spinoffs of music publications; some avoid major corporate sponsors. Chris Payne, Billboard, "What Does It Mean to Be an Independent Festival in 2019?," 26 June 2019 Today, the Rainbow Pool day-use area is a picnic spot — managed by the Stanislaus National Forest — that caters to those visiting Yosemite. Mike Morris,, "Take the plunge in these swimming holes to keep your cool," 21 June 2019 The store also caters to its Eastern European customers by cutting meat in hunks rather than in small cuts the way most mainstream grocery stores do, Audas said., "Southeast Portland’s new Citymaxx Food Stores scales up traditional Eastern European grocery," 11 June 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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Time Traveler for cater

Time Traveler

The first known use of cater was in 1580

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Statistics for cater

Last Updated

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cater.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for cater


How to pronounce cater (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cater

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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