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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English catour (acater, provisioner), aphetic form of acatour (acater), from Old French achater (to buy, to purchase). Equivalent to cate +‎ -er.

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

cater (third-person singular simple present caters, present participle catering, simple past and past participle catered)

  1. To provide, particularly:
    • a. 1635, Thomas Randolph, Poems, p. 4:
      Noe widdowes curse caters a dish of mine.
    1. (transitive, intransitive) To provide with food, especially for a special occasion as a professional service.
      I catered for her bat mitzvah.
      His company catered our wedding.
    2. (intransitive, figuratively, with 'to') To provide anything required or desired, often (derogatory) to pander.
      I always wanted someone to cater to my every whim.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

cater (plural caters)

  1. (obsolete) Synonym of acater: an officer who purchased cates (food supplies) for the steward of a large household or estate.
    • c. 1400, "Gamelyn", ll. 321 ff.:
      I am oure Catour and bere oure Alther purse.
    • 1512, Account Book of the Hospital of St. John, Canterbury (1510–1556):
      Rec. for iij calvys off þe cater of Crystis Cherche.
  2. (obsolete) Synonym of caterer: any provider of food.
  3. (figuratively, obsolete) Synonym of purveyor: any provider of anything.
    • 1590, Robert Greene, Greenes Mourning Garment, p. 28:
      The eye is loues Cator.
Alternative formsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Probably ultimately from French quatre (four), possibly via cater (change-ringing), although Liberman argues for a derivation from a North Germanic prefix meaning "crooked, angled, clumsy" from which he also derives cater-cousin and, via Norse, Old Irish cittach (left-handed, awkward). He finds this more likely than extension of the dice and change-ringing term cater as an adverb, given the likely cognates in other Germanic languages. Caterpillar and caterwaul are unrelated, being derived from cognates to cat, but may have influenced the pronunciation of Liberman's proposed earlier *cate- or undergone similar sound changes.

VerbEdit

cater (third-person singular simple present caters, present participle catering, simple past and past participle catered)

  1. (Britain dialectal) To place, set, move, or cut diagonally or rhomboidally.
    • 1577, Barnaby Googe transl. Conrad Heresbach as Foure Bookes of Husbandry, Bk. II, fol. 69v:
      The trees are set checkerwise, and so catred [Latin: partim in quincuncem directis], as looke which way ye wyl, they lye leuel.
    • 1873, Silverland, p. 129:
      Cater’ across the rails ever so cleverly, you cannot escape jolt and jar.

AdverbEdit

cater (not comparable)

  1. (Britain dialectal, US) Diagonally.
    • 1881, Sebastian Evans, Leicestershire Words, Phrases, and Proverbs, s.v. "Cater and Cater-cornered":
      Cater and Cater-cornered, diagonal; diagonally. To ‘cut cater’ in the case of velvet, cloth, etc., is... ‘cut on the cross’. Cater-snozzle, to make an angle; to ‘mitre’.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

From French quatre (four).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

cater (plural caters)

  1. (rare, obsolete) Four.
  2. (card games, dice games, obsolete) The four of cards or dice.
    • 1519, William Horman, Vulgaria, fol. 280v:
      Cater is a very good caste.
  3. (music) A method of ringing nine bells in four pairs with a ninth tenor bell.
    • 1872, Henry Thomas Ellacombe, The Bells of Church, p. 29:
      The very terms of the art are enough to frighten an amateur. Hunting, dodging... caters, cinques, etc.
    • 1878, George Grove, A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, s.v. "Cater":
      Cater... The name given by change ringers to changes of nine bells. The word should probably be written quaters, as it is meant to denote the fact that four couples of bells change their places in the order of ringing.
Alternative formsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

AnagramsEdit


LadinEdit

Ladin cardinal numbers
 <  3 4 5  > 
    Cardinal : cater
    Ordinal : cuart

EtymologyEdit

From Latin quattuor.

AdjectiveEdit

cater

  1. four

NounEdit

cater m (uncountable)

  1. four

Middle DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

  This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.

NounEdit

cāter m

  1. tomcat

InflectionEdit

This noun needs an inflection-table template.

DescendantsEdit

Further readingEdit

  • cater”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
  • cater (I)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929