\ ˈku̇k How to pronounce cook (audio) \

Definition of cook

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a person who prepares food for eating
2 : a technical or industrial process comparable to cooking food also : a substance so processed


cooked; cooking; cooks

Definition of cook (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to prepare food for eating especially by means of heat French cooking
2 : to undergo the action of being cooked the rice is cooking now
3 : occur, happen find out what was cooking in the committee
4 : to perform, do, or proceed well the jazz quartet was cooking along the party cooked right through the night

transitive verb

1 : concoct, fabricate usually used with up cooked up a scheme
2 : to prepare for eating by a heating process
3 : falsify, doctor cooked the books with phony spending cuts and accounting gimmickry— Colleen O'Connor
4 : to subject to the action of heat or fire
cook one's goose
: to make one's failure or ruin certain


biographical name
\ ˈku̇k How to pronounce Cook (audio) \

Definition of Cook (Entry 3 of 3)

James 1728–1779 English navigator and explorer

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Other Words from cook


cookable \ ˈku̇-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce cookable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cook in a Sentence


the hearty meals prepared by the cook at summer camp


Cook the onions over low heat. She cooked a great meal. The fish was cooked in a white wine sauce. Carrots can be cooked, but they are often eaten raw. We're too busy to cook at home. He enjoys cooking on the weekends. The rice is still cooking, but it will be ready in 10 minutes. There's something cooking, but he won't say what.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This is cooking for millennials, who lack the calloused fingers or grit of an old-time cook. Bee Wilson, WSJ, "The Surprising Rewards of Meal Kits," 30 Nov. 2018 While pasta cooks, brown ground beef in large skillet in 1 tablespoon oil, breaking up into tiny pieces, 6 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Fresh Veggie Beef Ragu," 27 July 2018 The device cooks by circulating hot air around the food, resulting in a crispy layer, without the unhealthy oils. 10. Cathy Deimeke, USA TODAY, "Ask a Doc: What can I do to make healthy eating fun and easy for my kids?," 4 July 2018 The achiote pork cooks for 36 hours in banana leaves. Craig Laban,, "Orlando's best dining thrills are outside the parks," 22 June 2018 Steve cooks, gardens, and does more than his share of grocery shopping. Katie Arnold, Outside Online, "Childhood Adventures Wouldn't Happen Without Moms," 30 May 2018 And here’s the trick to slicing it thinly, which Kassis suggests and many Asian cooks use, too: Wrap the pieces in plastic wrap and freeze for one to two hours until the meat is very firm but pliable enough to slice thinly. Sheryl Julian,, "Recipe: Get a skillet blazing hot and you can make Middle Eastern lamb shawarma at home," 28 May 2018 The Best Cook in the World, by Rick Bragg Rick Bragg’s scrumptious food memoir is a tribute to his region, his family, and his mother, who was an unschooled but gifted cook. Monitor Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "10 best books of April: the Monitor's picks," 9 Apr. 2018 Not just any roll-up-the-sleeves-and-sling-the-hash cook, but one trained in French cuisine. Marc Bona,, "Avon Brewing Co. looks to brew in house this summer," 27 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Culinary events include cooking demos with Rick Bayless, Chicago native (now Atlanta-based) chef Todd Richards, and author, journalist and Chicagoan Anupy Singla, an authority on Indian food and cooking. Adam Lukach,, "Things to do in Chicago this weekend: Bears100, Printers Row Lit Fest, Spring Awakening, Jonathan Van Ness," 6 June 2019 The afternoon will feature a celebrity line-up of local and national chefs, wine and food tastings from top local restaurants, wine seminars and cooking demonstrations. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "On sale now: Detroit Free Press' Wine + Food Experience returns Sept. 14," 5 June 2019 The difference between appropriation and appreciation [when] cooking with flavors that are not from your region or background is humility. Nicole Y. Chung, Washington Post, "To tell a story of immigrants, Lillian Li turned to a world she knows well: Chinese restaurants," 4 June 2019 Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer; cook until greens are tender, approximately 1½ hours. Derek Herscovici,, "5 recipes for popular restaurant barbecue accompaniments," 4 June 2019 Additionally, a handful of Girl Scout camps will keep kids involved through science activities, cooking programs and other outdoor adventures. Slade Rand,, "Connecticut summer camps benefit from Hartford Foundation education funding," 4 June 2019 The signs are down, brown paper covers the windows and a 17-foot Meadow Creek wood smoker that cooked rib racks and briskets in the parking lot is gone. Michael Mayo,, "Hickory Sticks BBQ in Fort Lauderdale closes after 7-year run," 4 June 2019 More importantly, executive chefs Anthony Wells, Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins and Brian Redzikowski -- of Juniper & Ivy, El Jardín and Kettner Exhange, respectively -- are three of the most talented people cooking in San Diego today. (allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times), San Diego Union-Tribune, "What Michelin got right — and wrong," 4 June 2019 Continuing this pattern, van Kempen hired their new executive chef, Brian Szostak, who learned about cooking from his father. Parker Bowie Larson, ELLE Decor, "Every Page of This New Cookbook Feels Like a Summer Weekend in the Hamptons," 28 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cook.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cook


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for cook


Middle English, from Old English cōc, from Latin coquus, from coquere to cook; akin to Old English āfigen fried, Greek pessein to cook

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Learn More about cook

Dictionary Entries near cook






Cook's tour


Statistics for cook

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cook

The first known use of cook was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cook



English Language Learners Definition of cook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone who prepares and cooks food for eating at home, in a restaurant, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of cook (Entry 2 of 2)

: to prepare (food) for eating especially by using heat
: to go through the process of being cooked
informal : to happen or take place


\ ˈku̇k How to pronounce cook (audio) \

Kids Definition of cook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who prepares food for eating


cooked; cooking

Kids Definition of cook (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to prepare food for eating by the use of heat
2 : to go through the process of being heated in preparation for being eaten Dinner is cooking.
3 : to create through thought and imagination usually used with up The boys are cooking up a scheme to earn money.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cook

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cook

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cook

Spanish Central: Translation of cook

Nglish: Translation of cook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cook for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cook

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behavior toward others

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