Cook's tour

\ ˈku̇ks- How to pronounce Cook's tour (audio) \

Definition of Cook's tour

: a rapid or cursory survey or review

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In 1841, British missionary Thomas Cook convinced a British railway to run a special train to a temperance meeting, then proceeded to find passengers for the trip, an event regarded as the beginning of organized tourism. Within a few years, Cook was setting up excursions on a regular basis, and by the century's end, the Thomas Cook & Son travel agency was orchestrating travel around the world. The agency's tours were famously well-organized, but they were also known for herding travelers hurriedly from location to location. A Cook's tourist might see an impressive array of famous sites, but often only in superficial glimpses. Over time, English speakers started using Cook's tour for any hurried tour, and later, for any rushed activity or cursory review.

First Known Use of Cook's tour

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Cook's tour

Thomas Cook & Son, English travel agency

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The first known use of Cook's tour was circa 1909

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Cite this Entry

“Cook's tour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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