\ 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 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 In March, British Airways announced a new partnership with Feast Box and DO & CO to bring the first-class dining experience into homes with limited-edition, cook-at-home meal kits. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "UK Residents Can Now Make a First-class British Airways Meal at Home With This New Cooking Kit," 31 Mar. 2021 Of course, the unfortunate cook should not have asked. Washington Post, "Miss Manners: ‘Sorry I didn’t fake-compliment your terrible cooking’," 30 Mar. 2021 Her husband, Hussein Onyango Obama, was a British officer’s cook during World War II and was deployed to Burma, as Myanmar was then called. New York Times, "Sarah Onyango Obama, Ex-President’s Stepgrandmother, Dies at 99," 29 Mar. 2021 The kit customers will receive on April 8 will be sponsored by Miracle-Gro and include exclusive recipes from professional cook and food stylist Amanda Frederickson. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Lowe's Is Giving Away Free Gardening Kits Next Month," 26 Mar. 2021 The Galleria Dallas restaurant offers a cook-at-home Easter dinner kit for $149 that comes with cooking instructions and serves four to six people. Audrey Eads, Dallas News, "50-plus D-FW restaurants offering Easter and Passover meal specials," 24 Mar. 2021 Last fall, three of his employees, including one cook, tested positive. Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune, "In Hutchinson, 'normal' life returns slowly as businesses tally costs and losses," 20 Mar. 2021 The 29-year-old line cook was laid off from his job at Lasa, a popular Filipino restaurant, last year when the pandemic forced the closure of dining rooms, bars and nightclubs in Los Angeles. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Closing the gap at school," 19 Mar. 2021 But Carrino also made a career out of barbecue cook-offs, traveling around the United States to compete in shows nationally for more than 25 years. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "Barbecue champ opens Bronco’s Western BBQ restaurant in Cleveland," 17 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Add the cutlets to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until well browned., "Recipes: A weeknight meal that makes the most of classic Middle Eastern ingredients," 7 Apr. 2021 These cook just as fast and easy as the original varieties too: Just pop them in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 to 14 minutes. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Gluten-Free Pizza From This Classic Brand Is Finally Here," 7 Apr. 2021 Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the berries begin to break down. San Antonio Express-News, "Recipe: No-Fuss Strawberry Jam," 6 Apr. 2021 While the noodles cook, in a small saucepan, combine the broth, soy sauce or tamari, and mirin and set over low heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Washington Post, "These udon noodles in a simple soy broth are simply irresistible," 4 Apr. 2021 Easy to find ingredients: cook ingredients easily food at your local grocery store . Maren Estrada, BGR, "5 air fryer cookbooks on Amazon you’ll wonder how you lived without," 2 Apr. 2021 The next day, the chefs had three hours to prep and cook at OMSI. oregonlive, "‘Top Chef’ Portland premieres with plenty of air time for local chefs, and lots of fowl play," 2 Apr. 2021 Add venison, stirring to break up meat and cook through. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's how Milwaukee-area faith leaders view Easter dining, in a year and season of rebirth," 31 Mar. 2021 Also there is In-N-Out, and waiting in those lines is another excuse to get the hell out of the house and not cook dinner. Los Angeles Times, "Column: I abandoned all my big pandemic projects. Here are 13 lessons I learned instead," 30 Mar. 2021

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cook

Nglish: Translation of cook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cook for Arabic Speakers

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