cater

To cater means to supply food for meetings or celebrations. If you're having a big barbecue party but would rather hang out with your friends than grill, you could pay someone to cater it.

In Middle English, the food supply in a big household was known as the cates, and so to cater meant keeping the pantry full. These days, caterers don't do pantries. They cook food for many different households or offices. Cater has also come to mean "giving what is desired or needed." You might cater to your grandfather by bringing him tea, reading to him, and laughing at his bad jokes.

Definitions of cater
  1. verb
    give what is desired or needed, especially support, food or sustenance
    synonyms: ply, provide, supply
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    types:
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    staff
    provide with staff
    drench
    force to drink
    regale, treat
    provide with choice or abundant food or drink
    board
    provide food and lodging (for)
    feed, give
    give food to
    feed
    serve as food for; be the food for
    dish, dish out, dish up, serve, serve up
    provide (usually but not necessarily food)
    help, serve
    help to some food; help with food or drink
    power
    supply the force or power for the functioning of
    feed
    provide as food
    gratify, indulge, pander
    yield (to); give satisfaction to
    underlay
    provide with a base, support, lining, or backing
    fill, fulfil, fulfill, meet, satisfy
    fill or meet a want or need
    horse
    provide with a horse or horses
    shower
    provide abundantly with
    accommodate
    provide with something desired or needed
    nourish, nurture, sustain
    provide with nourishment
    fix up
    find (something or someone) for
    gutter
    provide with gutters
    humor, humour
    put into a good mood
    man
    provide with workers
    dine
    give dinner to; host for dinner
    wine
    treat to wine
    alcoholize
    subject to the influence of alcohol
    live in, sleep in
    live in the house where one works
    scavenge
    feed on carrion or refuse
    fodder
    give fodder (to domesticated animals)
    slop, swill
    feed pigs
    regurgitate
    feed through the beak by regurgitating previously swallowed food
    corn
    feed (cattle) with corn
    malnourish, undernourish
    provide with insufficient quality or quantity of nourishment
    overfeed
    feed excessively
    spoonfeed
    feed with a spoon
    force-feed
    feed someone who will not or cannot eat
    plank
    cook and serve on a plank
    drive
    cause to function by supplying the force or power for or by controlling
    feast, feed
    gratify
    spree
    engage without restraint in an activity and indulge, as when shopping
    answer
    be satisfactory for; meet the requirements of or serve the purpose of
    remount
    provide with fresh horses
    lunch
    provide a midday meal for
    breakfast
    provide breakfast for
    breastfeed, give suck, lactate, nurse, suck, suckle, wet-nurse
    give suck to
    bottlefeed
    feed (infants) with a bottle
    sow one's oats, sow one's wild oats
    live promiscuously and self-indulgently
    appease, quell, stay
    overcome or allay
    inject
    feed intravenously
    carry
    be able to feed
    feed on, feed upon
    be sustained by
    allay, assuage, quench, slake
    satisfy (thirst)
    aliment, nourish, nutrify
    give nourishment to
    range
    let eat
    crop, graze, pasture
    let feed in a field or pasture or meadow
    type of:
    give
    transfer possession of something concrete or abstract to somebody
  2. verb
    supply food ready to eat; for parties and banquets
    see moresee less
    type of:
    ply, provide, supply
    give what is desired or needed, especially support, food or sustenance
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