\ 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 cookable (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 Along with a turkey cook-off, the dad of two bonded with his eldest child by teaching her how to handle some of his tools. Brianne Tracy,, "Carey Hart Celebrates Thanksgiving with His 'Badass' 8½-Year-Old Daughter Willow," 30 Nov. 2019 Ed Jones will host an event on Dec. 13, Time Out Tavern and Jet Landing LLC will have separate cook-offs on Dec. 15, Hooters will host an event on Dec. 18. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Toys for Tots supports local families in need during the holidays," 13 Nov. 2019 All of the Avon Lake safety forces were invited to the cook-off. Linda Gandee/special To, cleveland, "17th annual Heritage Avon Lake chili cook-off ends in a tie," 11 Nov. 2019 There was only one way to compare Ohmic gluten-free bread to gluten-free bread made the traditional way: a cook-off. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Figured Out a Cool Way to Make Better Gluten-Free Bread," 29 Oct. 2019 The cook-off, which has become a flagship event for the Orangeburg County Democratic Party, was started by OCDP Chair Emeritus Betty Henderson decades ago to raise money for the party. Katie Ross Dominick, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Over four in 10 Americans say affording basic medical care is a hardship," 18 Oct. 2019 Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer attend a cook-off in Orangeburg, S.C… Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall in Norfolk, Va... NBC News, "Trump replaces 'America First' with 'Me First'," 18 Oct. 2019 This four-day event in Paonia celebrates the fall harvest with live music, harvest-to-table dinners, farm tours, yoga, a bike parade, a chili cook-off and more. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "Pumpkins, cider and amorous elk: A guide to Colorado fall festivals," 21 Sep. 2019 Fall Fest 2019 The downtown Noblesville festival features trick or treating at the different downtown stores, a scarecrow contest, soup cook-off, hay rides, pumpkin decorating, live music and more. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Where to find Oktoberfests, fall and harvest festivals around Indianapolis," 3 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Armchair cooks and armchair travelers who don’t cook at all — or actual travelers looking for where or what to eat away from home. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gift guide: 2019 cookbooks and companion goodies for food and drink lovers," 5 Dec. 2019 Uncover the grits, add the bay leaf, and cook over low heat, stirring often, until very soft and tender, about 1 hour., "Recipe: Traditional Shrimp and Grits," 4 Dec. 2019 Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart Pressure Cooker ($49.95, originally $99.95; Featuring 14 different programming modes, this can cook anything from soups to broths to meat in record time. CNN Underscored, "All the best deals from Target's Cyber Monday sale," 2 Dec. 2019 Add Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Chris Ross,, "Stovetop recipe for tender Brussels sprouts," 2 Dec. 2019 Government staff were tossing balls of cooked rice through the windows of homes across the river, but on her side the flooding was too extreme for even meagre rescue efforts like that. Jessica Wapner, Quartz, "Vietnamese women are hit harder by climate change—but they’re starting to fight back," 1 Dec. 2019 Guests must shower daily, do their own laundry, cook their own meals, clean their own rooms. John Carlisle,, "Homeless people Up North are drawn to this small Michigan community," 1 Dec. 2019 Store cooked mashed potatoes in the refrigerator 3-4 days. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Leftovers: 10 tips for storing leftovers and recipes to try," 29 Nov. 2019 The night before, Obino, the 20-year-old who was sleeping in his car, had cooked a meal of couscous. Simon Akam, Outside Online, "You Won’t Pass Chamonix’s Mountain Guiding Test," 27 Nov. 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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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

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cook.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on cook

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cook

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cook

Spanish Central: Translation of cook

Nglish: Translation of cook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cook for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cook

What made you want to look up cook? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


heavy with or as if with moisture

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