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 36-year-old Louisville go-to location at 4600 Shelbyville Road for high-quality apparel and gear for your next outdoor adventure has evolved with the times and now caters to an online clientele as well as those who walk into the store. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Shop local Louisville deals: Small Business Saturday, Museum Store Sunday and Cyber Monday," 26 Nov. 2019 Both really seek and cater to the same crowd: family, family, family fun. al, "Second Hangout in works for Myrtle Beach, S.C.," 25 Nov. 2019 The party was held in a large conference room with two large projector screens, catered food, and a cash bar. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "Black Voters in Atlanta Weigh Their Presidential Options During the Democratic Debate," 21 Nov. 2019 Its investment banking future may be brighter catering to this customer base. Washington Post, "HSBC’s “Last Man Standing” Is on His Way Out," 20 Nov. 2019 It’s best known as Gigi of Mequon, because for the last 30 years the shop has catered to a suburban clientele from quarters at 1550 W. Mequon Road. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From suburb to city: Longtime North Shore boutique Gigi of Mequon moves to Walker's Point," 20 Nov. 2019 Connoisseur-reception: Same amenities as regular-admission plus private reception area with premium and large-format beers, catered appetizers, coat check, private restrooms and special souvenir glass snifter. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Cleveland Beerfest returning in 2020," 19 Nov. 2019 The couple had their event completely catered with Olive Garden classics, and the biggest hit of the night: a surprise late-night breadstick bar complete with marinara and Alfredo dipping sauces. Mary Honkus,, "This Couple Had an Olive Garden-Themed Wedding Complete with a Breadstick Bar," 18 Nov. 2019 But when restaurateur Benjamin Berg offered to underwrite and cater the dinner and after-party, event staffers made a wise call: smaller is decidedly better. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Big Brothers, Big Sisters goes green: Gala and 'electric after-party' raise $350,000 for mentoring," 18 Nov. 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

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cater.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 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).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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