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Syllabification: ca·ter
Pronunciation: /ˈkādər

Definition of cater in English:


[with object]
1North American Provide food and drink, typically at social events and in a professional capacity: he catered a lunch for 20 people (as adjective catered) planning another catered affair
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.
1.1 [no object] (cater for) chiefly British Provide with food and drink in a professional capacity: my mother helped to cater for the party
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
1.2 [no object] (cater to) Provide with what is needed or required: the school caters to 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.
1.3 [no object] (cater to) Try to satisfy (a particular 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.


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



Example sentences
  • The muffin has become, in a very short time, the snack treat of choice - mainly because caterers no longer provide much of an alternative.
  • The caterers arrived late and much to my chagrin had brought with them assorted finger foods that all included some kind of dipping sauce.
  • Problems with caterers, florists, car hire, photographs and the wedding dress account for most of the rest of insurance claims made.

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