• synonyms


See more synonyms for cater on Thesaurus.com
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.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to provide food and service for: to cater a party.
Show More

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 for cater

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cater

gratify, humor, purvey, supply, procure, outfit, pamper, spoil, indulge, baby, coddle, provision, furnish, cotton, victual

Examples from the Web for cater

Contemporary Examples of cater

Historical Examples of cater

  • 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


  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
Show More

Word Origin for cater

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


"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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper