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cater

[key-ter]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to provide food, service, etc., as for a party or wedding: to cater for a banquet.
  2. to provide or supply what amuses, is desired, or gives pleasure, comfort, etc. (usually followed by to or for): to cater to popular demand; to cater to an invalid.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to provide food and service for: to cater a party.
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Origin of cater

1350–1400; v. use of obsolete cater, Middle English catour, aphetic variant of acatour buyer < Anglo-French, equivalent to acat(er) to buy (see cate) + -our -or2
Related formsca·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·ca·tered, adjectiveun·ca·ter·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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2. humor, indulge, please.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cater

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The only permanent citizens are the ones who cater to those on the way through.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

  • Are you going to cater to the whims and prejudices of people?

  • If he could cater for a month, no expense should be grudged; as for the future, he thrust it from his mind.

    The Young Duke

    Benjamin Disraeli

  • When dealing with childish persons you have to cater to their whims.

  • "I can be friends with you, but you can't be friends with me, Cater; it isn't in you to know how," he said.


British Dictionary definitions for cater

cater

verb
  1. (intr; foll by for or to) to provide what is required or desired (for)to cater for a need; cater to your tastes
  2. (when intr, foll by for) to provide food, services, etc (for)we cater for parties; to cater a banquet
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Word Origin

C16: from earlier catour purchaser, variant of acatour, from Anglo-Norman acater to buy, ultimately related to Latin acceptāre to accept
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cater

v.

"provide food for," c.1600, from Middle English catour (n.) "buyer of provisions" (c.1400; late 13c. as a surname), a shortening of Anglo-French achatour "buyer" (Old North French acatour, Old French achatour, 13c., Modern French acheteur), from Old French achater "to buy," originally "to buy provisions," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *accaptare, from Latin ad- "to" + captare "to take, hold," frequentative of capere "to take" (see capable).

Or else from Vulgar Latin *accapitare "to add to one's capital," with second element from verbal stem of Latin caput (genitive capitis); see capital (adj.). Figuratively from 1650s. Related: Catered; catering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper