Definition of cater in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkādər/ /ˈkeɪdər/

See synonyms for cater on

Translate cater into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1North American Provide food and drink, typically at social events and in a professional capacity.

    ‘he catered a lunch for 20 people’
    • ‘they are planning another catered affair’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thanks to all those factors, fewer people are throwing lavish catered events or dining out at all.’
    • ‘All enjoyed a meal catered by Prater's Barbeque and musical entertainment provided by the bluegrass and gospel group, the Buck Mountain Boys.’
    • ‘In Britain the estimate is 9 billion kilos of food is wasted after catered meals and all of it is dumped.’
    • ‘Approximately 150 people attended the event, which featured a meal catered by Margaret Trusty Catering.’
    • ‘I'd grown up in an India where vegetarianism was a mainstream option, where every hotel buffet or catered dinner had ‘veg’ and ‘non-veg’ tables to graze at.’
    • ‘The jazz club also will be used as an additional room for meetings and special catered events.’
    • ‘Staff catered the meals, and everyone helped with noncooking chores.’
    • ‘The restaurant Nikolas hired to cater the dinner did a wonderful job.’
    • ‘Dinner tickets are 5,000 and include a fabulous meal catered by Chouwa, and a chance to win some great raffle prizes.’
    • ‘Twenty-one years ago White catered events to make extra money during school breaks from the University of Colorado, where she majored in journalism.’
    • ‘It's a fun job - one that requires no auditions or memorizing of lines; meals are catered and overtime pay is common.’
    • ‘The meal was catered very capably by the staff of the Downtown Hotel.’
    • ‘The solution was to make the lecture a more festive affair and include catered food and door prizes.’
    • ‘Upon hearing news of the Queen's visit, Chartwells Catering Services - which serves Sheridan College as well as St. Jerome's University - chose six of the best chefs in its employ to cater the event.’
    • ‘Green caters local parties and sells her cooking at festivals, including the Taste of Chicago and Chicago Bulls Blues Festival.’
    • ‘Inside I found a free CD, a room full of wine-sipping spectators, a soundboard ready for play, and a selection of Indian foods catered by a local restaurant.’
    • ‘The whole party is being catered and the twenty-something woman making drinks tells me she ran out of tonic an hour ago.’
    1. 1.1cater forBritish no object Provide with food and drink in a professional capacity.
      ‘my mother helped to cater for the party’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Links would be built between local food and tourism to maximise the use of local produce in catering and through retail outlets.’
      • ‘Some of the people who take part will be able to earn certificates in food hygiene, catering, first aid and firefighting.’
      • ‘Local produce features strongly in the menu of the food hall, which caters primarily for locals although that's not to say that it doesn't attract a steady stream of visitors in the summer months.’
      • ‘They provided catering and a television so people wouldn't miss the AFL Grand Final.’
      • ‘It is not necessary to provide catering as many visitors prefer to self cater or to partake of local cuisine.’
      • ‘The Thornhill Arms was one of the first pubs in Huddersfield are to provide catering at the time.’
      • ‘After all, her parents had been in the hotel trade and she had grown up in catering.’
      • ‘Cath has responsibility for eight function rooms at the Pier complex and also caters at Wigan council and Wigan Culture and Leisure Trust venues across the town.’
      • ‘All her previous jobs have been in catering and she was once head chef at St Gemma's Hospice in Moortown, Leeds.’
      • ‘The talented chef, who says the crash cost him his job and marriage, said he still had aspirations to pursue a career in catering.’
      • ‘Obviously, you'll only be able to invite a select number of guests but at least you won't have to worry about catering.’
      • ‘It has been a lifelong ambition to work in catering, yet over the years I stayed within the care sector as it suited my lifestyle.’
      • ‘Her new career is in catering, a far cry from the committee rooms and party politicking at City Hall in Bradford.’
      • ‘She works hard at two jobs, one in catering, the other in a nightclub, so when she has a night off she likes to let her hair down.’
      • ‘He hopes to run his own cafe one day or to enter employment in catering.’
      • ‘The contract for catering at the museum runs out on Monday and Swindon Services will not be renewing it.’
      • ‘Gillian first worked in hotel catering, then ran the Spotted Cow in Malton for seven years.’
      provide food for, feed, serve, cook for, wine and dine, regale, provide for, provision

Phrasal Verbs

    cater for
    • 1cater for someoneProvide someone with what is needed or required.

      • ‘a seaside resort catering for older holidaymakers’
    • 2cater for somethingTake something into account; make allowances for something.

      • ‘the scheme caters for interest rate fluctuations’
    cater to
    • 1cater to someoneProvide someone with what is needed or required.

      ‘many farmers at farmers markets cater to those who buy in bulk’
      • ‘the school caters for children with learning difficulties’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A wide variety of sizes and styles of housing would be provided in order to cater to a wide range of pocket books and lifestyles.’
      • ‘They could then make it clear that they are to cater for smokers only and make a packet by catering exclusively to that group.’
      • ‘And if it shuts, the nearest pubs will be in the town centre where the trade caters mainly for the young crowd and are too far away for older folk.’
      • ‘The food is wonderful they cater well for vegetarians and children and the staff are really friendly and professional.’
      • ‘Yet women were also commonly found in theatre audiences: matinées catered particularly to mothers and children, while evening performances at theatres attracted courting couples.’
      • ‘It caters specially for dyslexic children, children with special educational needs and children who struggle in large schools, and has an unusually high teacher-to-pupil ratio, with each tutor looking after about eight pupils.’
      • ‘Results The women felt unprepared for operative delivery and thought that their birth plan or antenatal classes had not catered adequately for this event.’
      • ‘It is absolutely vital that the development site caters properly for the parking needs of its future residents if chaos is to be avoided.’
      • ‘As the site caters almost exclusively for the indigenous population, everything is in Dutch with a bit of German thrown in for visitors from across the border, from the welcome pack to the café menu.’
      • ‘It seems to me, therefore, perfectly reasonable that a school, unless it caters specifically for pupils of only one faith, should require that religion is kept outside its doors.’
      • ‘The city centre nightspot caters mainly for the over 25s with cabarets such as those shown at Funny Girls in Blackpool and the Birdcage in Leeds.’
      • ‘The business has done well but it caters mainly to the upper and middle-income bracket, which is the top 10 per cent of the population.’
      • ‘The pool caters annually for more than 35,000 users who have physical disabilities, injuries or learning difficulties.’
      • ‘The shop caters specifically for larger sized customers.’
      • ‘Supplying textiles to the fashion industry, Magee Weaving caters largely to the export market.’
      • ‘It is currently the world's only online guitar shop catering exclusively for left-handed people.’
      • ‘This was the scheme which came the closest to catering for everyone's wishes.’
    • 2cater to somethingTry to satisfy a need or demand.

      • ‘he catered to her every whim’


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