Definition of cater in English:



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  • 1British Provide people with food and drink at a social event or other gathering.

    ‘my mother helped to cater for the party’
    • ‘All her previous jobs have been in catering and she was once head chef at St Gemma's Hospice in Moortown, Leeds.’
    • ‘I've always thought that women are better at catering and dealing with food.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The talented chef, who says the crash cost him his job and marriage, said he still had aspirations to pursue a career in 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They provided catering and a television so people wouldn't miss the AFL Grand Final.’
    • ‘The contract for catering at the museum runs out on Monday and Swindon Services will not be renewing it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He hopes to run his own cafe one day or to enter employment 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.’
    • ‘After all, her parents had been in the hotel trade and she had grown up in catering.’
    • ‘Gillian first worked in hotel catering, then ran the Spotted Cow in Malton for seven years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Links would be built between local food and tourism to maximise the use of local produce in catering and through retail outlets.’
    • ‘It is not necessary to provide catering as many visitors prefer to self cater or to partake of local cuisine.’
    • ‘Many of the people selling us food - in retail and in catering - are real enthusiasts.’
    • ‘The Thornhill Arms was one of the first pubs in Huddersfield are to provide catering at the time.’
    • ‘Some of the people who take part will be able to earn certificates in food hygiene, catering, first aid and firefighting.’
    provide food for, feed, serve, cook for, wine and dine, regale, provide for, provision
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    1. 1.1North American with object Provide food and drink for (an event)
      ‘he catered a lunch for 20 people’
      • ‘In Britain the estimate is 9 billion kilos of food is wasted after catered meals and all of it is dumped.’
      • ‘Twenty-one years ago White catered events to make extra money during school breaks from the University of Colorado, where she majored in journalism.’
      • ‘Manzo said the meals were catered lunches or dinners for the caucus on days when the Legislature was in session.’
      • ‘The whole party is being catered and the twenty-something woman making drinks tells me she ran out of tonic an hour ago.’
      • ‘The jazz club also will be used as an additional room for meetings and special catered events.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's a fun job - one that requires no auditions or memorizing of lines; meals are catered and overtime pay is common.’
      • ‘All enjoyed a meal catered by Prater's Barbeque and musical entertainment provided by the bluegrass and gospel group, the Buck Mountain Boys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Staff catered the meals, and everyone helped with noncooking chores.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thanks to all those factors, fewer people are throwing lavish catered events or dining out at all.’
      • ‘Green caters local parties and sells her cooking at festivals, including the Taste of Chicago and Chicago Bulls Blues Festival.’
      • ‘I'm in the catering business - among other things - and I will be most glad to cater your dinner or lunch or whatever.’
      • ‘Dinner tickets are 5,000 and include a fabulous meal catered by Chouwa, and a chance to win some great raffle prizes.’
      • ‘The meal was catered very capably by the staff of the Downtown Hotel.’
      • ‘Approximately 150 people attended the event, which featured a meal catered by Margaret Trusty Catering.’
      • ‘The solution was to make the lecture a more festive affair and include catered food and door prizes.’
      • ‘The restaurant Nikolas hired to cater the dinner did a wonderful job.’
  • 2cater for/toProvide with what is needed or required.

    ‘the school caters for children with learning difficulties’
    • ‘It can find shoes for people up to size 18, and cater for people who require wide or narrow fittings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They could then make it clear that they are to cater for smokers only and make a packet by catering exclusively to that group.’
    • ‘Clause 3 requires Radio New Zealand to provide programming that caters to a full range of age groups.’
    • ‘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 shop caters specifically for larger sized customers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This was the scheme which came the closest to catering for everyone's wishes.’
    • ‘Results The women felt unprepared for operative delivery and thought that their birth plan or antenatal classes had not catered adequately for this event.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The pool caters annually for more than 35,000 users who have physical disabilities, injuries or learning difficulties.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is currently the world's only online guitar shop catering exclusively for left-handed people.’
    • ‘It is absolutely vital that the development site caters properly for the parking needs of its future residents if chaos is to be avoided.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Supplying textiles to the fashion industry, Magee Weaving caters largely to the export market.’
    • ‘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.’
    serve, provide for, oblige, meet the needs of, meet the wants of, accommodate, entertain, receive
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    1. 2.1cater for Take into account or make allowances for.
      ‘the scheme caters for interest rate fluctuations’
      • ‘It caters for all revenue requirements and provides what it describes as excellent features and analysis.’
      • ‘Hence, an analytical solution is required to cater to all soil type and varying site conditions.’
      • ‘It was in the form of a deed but the deed catered for consideration, so it took effect as a contract as well.’
      • ‘As I say, it is a fairly woolly sort of description, but it caters for the fact that we have other than materialistic interests in life.’
      • ‘Designed in Ireland for the Irish market, it caters for all the Irish Vat schemes and is euro-compliant.’
      • ‘The interest of the police is however catered for by the police being able to make a complaint to the Law Society.’
      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
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    2. 2.2cater to Try to satisfy (a need or demand)
      ‘he catered to her every whim’
      • ‘The publication of several biographies of Shakespeare since the 1980s caters to the constant interest in Shakespeare.’
      • ‘This is just a part of our varied social interests, which cater to the needs of the underprivileged sections.’
      • ‘There's nothing at all wrong with catering to a partner's whims - provided the partner caters to your needs and wishes, too.’
      • ‘In all, a good little system that deals well with drivers' needs on the road while also catering for fleet requirements.’
      • ‘Company cars account for 40 per cent of new car sales in Ireland, and catering to the demands of the corporate fleet is a growing business.’
      • ‘I am aware that there are those who contend that this bill is simply catering to the demands of a small minority.’
      • ‘A number of shops have sprung up in the city to cater to the demand for traditional ornamental furniture.’
      • ‘The number of wells in the region is not enough to cater to the demands of the residents.’
      • ‘The canine resorts are ready to cater to the whims of the most attentive owners at a cost of up to £60 a day.’
      • ‘Banks have started coming up with a whole lot of new schemes to cater to the needs of a large number of people.’
      • ‘Over time, Indians are becoming more market savvy and catering to the demands of the American consumer.’
      • ‘Originally designed by Avtovaz but modified and improved by GM, the Niva caters to Russia's demand for rugged off-road vehicles.’
      • ‘The school's rising student population means that the school needs to extend in order to cater to demand.’
      • ‘He will want to give you a load of company guff about high-rates of customer satisfaction and a wide-ranging menu catering to differing needs.’
      • ‘We need modern temples to cater to the requirements of modern times.’
      • ‘Housing to cater to the needs of those working here will find a demand in the region.’
      • ‘Numerous schools and institutes catered to this demand - whether it was for pilots, mechanics, or engineers.’
      • ‘He attributes his recent hits to the fact that he has taken care to cater to both these requirements.’
      • ‘We were soon to discover that this ‘world’ included pampering and catering to our every need and whim.’
      • ‘But as Imogen's obsession intensifies, it gets harder and harder not to grow tired of the way everyone caters to her with indulgent credulity.’
      satisfy, indulge, pander to, gratify, please, accommodate, pacify, appease, minister to, give in to, fulfil, satiate, pamper, mollycoddle, feather-bed, spoil
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Late 16th century: from obsolete cater ‘caterer’, from Old French acateor ‘buyer’, from acater ‘buy’ (see cate).