cook the books

idiomatic phrase

Definition of cook the books

informal
: to alter official accounting records in order to deceive or mislead Congress cooked the books with phony spending cuts and accounting gimmickry to appear to reduce the federal deficit.— Colleen O'Connor

First Known Use of cook the books

1850, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cook the books was in 1850

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Dictionary Entries Near cook the books

Cook Strait

cook the books

cooktop

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Statistics for cook the books

Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cook the books.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cook%20the%20books. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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