\ 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 upcooked 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 Cook (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cook in a Sentence

Noun the hearty meals prepared by the cook at summer camp Verb 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 Thirty-minute, one-pot, weeknight soups that have depth are a cook’s best friend. Rebecca White, Dallas News, "Weeknight-worthy recipe: Crab and Shrimp Coconut Bisque," 31 Dec. 2020 Bates soon progressed to being a line cook and then to a catering chef after being trained on all the stations. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Ring in 2021 with a European flair," 29 Dec. 2020 His father was a short-order cook, and his mother cleaned houses. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "California Governor Picks Alex Padilla to Fill Harris’s Senate Seat," 23 Dec. 2020 His dad was a short-order cook; his mom cleaned affluent people’s houses. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Alex Padilla’s Senate appointment marks a new chapter in California politics. It’s about time," 23 Dec. 2020 It’s one thing to peel potatoes and press ma’amoul into molds under the steady, in-person guidance of an experienced cook. Max Falkowitz/saveur, Popular Science, "Multicultural cooking classes offer up something tasty on Zoom," 11 Dec. 2020 Owen is dating a woman named Emma (Marguerite Moreau) who is a skilled cook. Martha Sorren,, "Now Is Actually The Perfect Time To Rewatch Grey’s Anatomy’s Thanksgiving Episodes," 24 Nov. 2020 She’s the kind of cook who makes 100 lumpia at a time, filling the rolls with pork and beef, water chestnuts, celery and carrots. Tejal Rao, New York Times, "For Home Cooks, Burnout Is a Reality This Holiday Season," 10 Nov. 2020 The house is run like clockwork by Hannah Grose (T'Nia Miller), with the help of the cook, Owen (Rahul Kohli), and a groundskeeper, Jamie (Amelia Eve). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: The Haunting of Bly Manor is a perfectly splendid ghost story," 21 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These genius appliances use hot air instead of oil to cook your food, making for a better-for-you meal. Arielle Tschinkel, USA TODAY, "Our favorite affordable Cuisinart air fryer is on sale for a huge discount right now," 6 Jan. 2021 The business will include a kitchen, but won’t cook its own food -- at least not initially. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "North Royalton school board member plans to open nanobrewery in Broadview Heights," 6 Jan. 2021 The only trick to cooking mushroom caps is to be sure to cook them well. Star Tribune, "Portobellos pack a punch as a meal on their own," 16 Dec. 2020 There were recipes that didn’t turn out right, and his instructor had Williams cook them up again. Vincent T. Davis,, "San Antonio chef overcame troubled past to help youth avoid similar pitfalls," 14 Dec. 2020 So Sanchez plans to cook the remaining food in her cart for the local homeless population and anyone in need. oregonlive, "Business is slow at Sue’s Steak Tacos, so its owner will feed the needy on Thanksgiving," 26 Nov. 2020 Learning how to cook Angolan food has increased my appreciation for not just my grandma’s cooking, but all those that came before me too. Jessica Alves, Bon Appétit, "Peanut Butter Who? In My Family, It's All About Kitaba," 19 Nov. 2020 Always make sure the steam valve is sealed so pressure can build and cook food quickly. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping, "5 Small Kitchen Appliances That Will Change Your Life," 6 Nov. 2020 His invention, the Skew-B-Que, is an electric skewer designed to cook food evenly inside and out. Kelly Donohue, The Arizona Republic, "Peoria 13-year-old receives U.S. patent for invention he came with up 2 years ago," 18 Oct. 2020

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


15th 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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Time Traveler for cook

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cook

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cook


How to pronounce Cook (audio)

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 upThe boys are cooking up a scheme to earn money.

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