Webster 1913 Edition



One who caters.
The little fowls in the air have God for Their provider and

Webster 1828 Edition



A provider, buyer or purveyor of provision.

Definition 2022





caterer (plural caterers)

  1. A person employed to obtain and maintain the storage of provisions, especially food.
    • 1821 June 19, ”Peregrine,” The Traveller: Letter IV, in The Kaleidoscope; Or, Literary and Scientific Mirror, page 401,
      It was in vain that I petitioned, appealing to our caterer, if proofs of appetite were wanting; for sick men seldom have occasion for that important person′s services.
    • 1830, Frederick Marryat, The King′s Own, 1840, The Complete Works of Captain F. Marryatt, Volume I, page 335,
      “I say, Mr. Cribbage,” cried an old master′s-mate, to the caterer, who had entered shortly after the tea-kettles, and assumed his place at the end of the table, “what sort of stuff do you call this?”
    • 1838, The Southern Literary Messenger, Volume IV, page 263,
      There is a caterer for the table, whose sleekness of face, rotundity of person, and general air of comfortable well-being, do great honor to the cheer he provides.
  2. A person or company hired to provide and serve food, usually for a large group and at a location separate from where the food is prepared.
    • 1979 July 23, Andrew O. Shapiro, Of Canceled Parties and the Beleaguered Teenager, New York, page 64,
      If so, you will probably sign a contract with a caterer months, maybe years, in advance and make a substantial down payment.
    • 1994, John N. Ingham, Lynne B. Feldman, Dutrieuille, Peter Albert (1838—1916) and Albert E. Dutrieuille (July 26, 1877—April 25, 1974), entry in African-American Business Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, page 225,
      From a family of French West African descent, Albert Dutrieuille was the last of the great African-American caterers in Philadelphia.
    • 2008, Zushe Yosef Blech, Kosher Food Production, page 176,
      Although many hotels work with outside Kosher caterers to provide Kosher services, some have developed their own in-house Kosher catering departments.


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See also