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 point these people miss is that the majority of experiences here in America already tend to center and highlight whiteness and cater to its safety. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why You Need to Stop Saying "All Lives Matter"," 16 Apr. 2019 Grueling, low-cal, high-cardio regimens still have plenty of overachieving fans, but resorts like the four here cater to another clientele. Margot Dougherty, WSJ, "Wellness Getaways That Come With Tequila," 20 Feb. 2019 With a list of the top trending fashion searches of 2018, out has come a list of companies that range from the most affordable to the most luxe; the Parisian influence and those catering towards a flurry of teenage it-girls alike. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Fashion Nova, Louis Vuitton and Versace Were the Most-Searched Fashion Brands of 2018," 13 Dec. 2018 The newspaper reports that The BeeHive Oven Biscuit Cafe in Brooklyn, New York, caters everything. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Here's What the 'Blue Bloods' Stars Are Actually Eating During the Reagan Family Dinners," 29 Dec. 2018 The Sun speculates that Princess Eugenie's love of the venue Petersham Nursery in London could be a major clue as to who might be catering her wedding. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's Royal Wedding Menu Mixes Formal Food with Fun Snacks," 1 Oct. 2018 Netanyahu was accused of misusing about $100,000 of public funds for catering services at the prime minister's Jerusalem home while falsely stating there were no cooks on staff, the justice ministry stated. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Wife of Israel prime minister charged with fraud over alleged misuse of public funds," 21 June 2018 Since then, Orr stopped catering his designs to trends. Sarah Espedido,, "Central Florida business owners share challenges and lessons learned," 15 May 2018 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

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

17 May 2019

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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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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