Definition of cater in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkeɪtə/


[no object]
1British Provide people with food and drink at a social event or other gathering: my mother helped to cater for the party (as noun catering) high standards of catering
More example sentences
  • I've always thought that women are better at catering and dealing with food.
  • Many of the people selling us food - in retail and in catering - are real enthusiasts.
  • We often cater at local events, specialising in Indian foods and make a sauce which is so popular that we have been asked time and time again about the possibility of buying it in the shops.
provide food for, feed, serve, cook for, wine and dine, regale, provide for, provision
dated victual
1.1 [with object] North American Provide food and drink for (an event): he catered a lunch for 20 people
More example sentences
  • Manzo said the meals were catered lunches or dinners for the caucus on days when the Legislature was in session.
  • They said they had made a lot of arrangements to prepare submissions, organise time off for the presenters and prepare the conference room for the meeting, as well as to cater breakfast and lunch.
  • I'm in the catering business - among other things - and I will be most glad to cater your dinner or lunch or whatever.
2 (cater for/to) Provide with what is needed or required: the school caters for children with learning difficulties
More example sentences
  • It has since been updated with the latest equipment and a new calving unit was provided in 2002 which caters for 48 cows at a time.
  • Clause 3 requires Radio New Zealand to provide programming that caters to a full range of age groups.
  • It can find shoes for people up to size 18, and cater for people who require wide or narrow fittings.
serve, provide for, oblige, meet the needs/wants of, accommodate, entertain, receive;
deal with, handle, see to, look after, care for
2.1 (cater for) Take into account or make allowances for: the scheme caters for interest rate fluctuations
More example sentences
  • The interest of the police is however catered for by the police being able to make a complaint to the Law Society.
  • It was in the form of a deed but the deed catered for consideration, so it took effect as a contract as well.
  • Designed in Ireland for the Irish market, it caters for all the Irish Vat schemes and is euro-compliant.
take into account, take into consideration, make allowances for, allow for, consider, bear in mind, make provision for, make preparations for, prepare for, make concessions for, have regard for
2.2 (cater to) Try to satisfy (a need or demand): he catered to her every whim
More example sentences
  • Over time, Indians are becoming more market savvy and catering to the demands of the American consumer.
  • The school's rising student population means that the school needs to extend in order to cater to demand.
  • A number of shops have sprung up in the city to cater to the demand for traditional ornamental furniture.
satisfy, indulge, pander to, gratify, please, accommodate, pacify, appease, minister to, give in to, fulfil, satiate, pamper, mollycoddle, feather-bed, spoil


Late 16th century: from obsolete cater 'caterer', from Old French acateor 'buyer', from acater 'buy' (see cate).

Words that rhyme with cater

crater, creator, curator, data, debater, delator, dumbwaiter, equator, fascinator, freighter, frustrater, gaiter, grater, gyrator, hater, later, legator, mater, negator, pater, peseta, plater, rotator, skater, slater, stater, tater, traitor, ultimata, understater, upstater, waiter

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cater

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