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 The airline unveiled new gear designed by Carhartt for its teams who work in ramp services, catering and technical operations. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "28,000 United Airlines employees are getting new uniforms," 16 Jan. 2020 Some jumbo lenders, particularly who cater to high-net-worth individuals, have implemented far more liberal asset depreciation programs, said Richard Barenblatt, a mortgage specialist with Guardhill Financial in New York. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "You’re Never Too Old to Apply for a Mortgage," 16 Jan. 2020 While Westbrook is catering to the ultra rich, just 1.8 miles to the south, Mission Housing and Bridge Housing are building 157 homes for those at the bottom of the economic ladder. J.k. Dineen,, "What’s in store for SF housing in 2020? More new homes, but not nearly enough," 3 Jan. 2020 They were tasked with various chores around the home, and might act out when the humans didn't cater to their little gnome needs. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Christmas Gnomes Are Everywhere and Thus I Am Panicked," 17 Dec. 2019 Though the fad is catering to a very niche audience, it's caught on: a quick hashtag search on Instagram turns up over 1,700 photos of people taking part in the ghoulish trend. Christina Oehler,, "This ‘Devil Lip’ Trend Is 2019’s Weirdest Beauty Fad by Far," 11 Dec. 2019 In Iraq the electoral law helps entrench big parties, while the electoral commission caters to elites. The Economist, "System failure Time for Iraq and Lebanon to ditch state-sponsored sectarianism," 7 Dec. 2019 Postmark in Clifton closed as a restaurant but will continue to operate as an event and catering space Alternative: Brad Bernstein's other restaurant, Red Feather in Oakley. Polly Campbell,, "Cincinnati restaurants that said goodbye in 2019," 8 Jan. 2020 In March, Disney World Resorts began catering to would-be sirens like me. Laura Studarus, Marie Claire, "I Attended Disney World’s Mermaid School," 2 Jan. 2020

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

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cater.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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