Word of the Day: cater

Word of the Day
April 26, 2016
cater (verb)
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A buffet at a catered event
To cater means 'to provide food and drink for an event or person.' It also means 'to provide someone or something with whatever is needed or required' (not only food and drinks), or 'to satisfy a desire,' especially when indulging someone. It can also mean 'to take something into account' or 'to keep something in mind.'

 

Example sentences
 
Edward and Pamela both have very demanding jobs, so they hired a chef to cater their dinner party.
This firm specializes in catering weddings.
That law firm caters to the needs of a wealthy clientele.
Jay spoils his children; he caters to their every desire!
Flexible working hours cater to parents' needs to arrange their working day around childcare.

 

Did you know?
 
In reference to food and drink, cater can be used either with the preposition for or with a direct object: ie, "cater for a party" or "cater a party." The direct object use is more common in US English, but can also be heard in UK English. When you are talking about providing someone with what is needed or required, for is usually used if the object is a person or group of people. Example: "The museum has been remodeled to cater for people in wheelchairs." When the object is the need or desire, either for or to can be used. Example: Our company caters to (or: for) our clients' needs. 
 
Other forms
 
caterer (noun), catering (noun)
 
Origin
 
Cater dates back to the second half of the 14th century and comes from Anglo-French, equivalent to acat(er), meaning 'to buy' and the Middle English word catour, a variant of acatour, meaning 'buyer.'
 
 
 
 
 
Cater in other languages
 
 
 
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