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 This Phoenix staple can cater to all of your literary needs while also offering novelty gifts, greeting cards, journals and toys. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "Small Business Saturday: 20 independent metro Phoenix stores to have on your radar," 25 Nov. 2020 But some of us do take pleasure from the act, and some car companies cater to that. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "People asked for a Mazda 3 with more power: The 2021 Mazda 3 Turbo review," 20 Nov. 2020 This specialty carmaker used to cater mostly to white men aged 55 to 80. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Buyers clamor to spend $100,000 on reimagined Shelby Cobra, Ford GT40," 5 Nov. 2020 The panelists discussed their latest books, Black identity and how not to cater to white audiences. Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times, "Black authors on Black Lives Matter, anti-racism and staying true to your writing," 5 Nov. 2020 Berry said the homes that are being built in 2020 will undoubtedly cater to work-from-home life. Dallas News, "What’s trending in Dallas' luxury home market, and how the pandemic has changed some buyers' thinking," 16 Oct. 2020 Gun-control advocates sometimes claim that gun makers cater to the criminal market with low prices and easy concealability. John R. Lott Jr., WSJ, "Democrats Are Coming for Your Guns," 5 Oct. 2020 It was expected to cater to professional and amateur athletes alike and include a rehab pool, a mobile MRI machine, a golf simulator, a basketball court and 40-yard track. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Medical Center nixes sports medicine center next to Little Caesars Arena," 29 Sep. 2020 Greensill, in a post on its website, said the school will eventually cater to 75 children and should operate at full capacity by the spring of next year. Luca Casiraghi,, "Credit Suisse Fund Lent to Billionaire Greensill’s Neighbor," 28 Sep. 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

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 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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Comments on cater

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