\ 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 But the demand for AB 626 isn’t just coming from cooks — neighbors also want more options for prepared foods during the coronavirus, said Joe Acanfora, a home cook in Oakland, who spoke during the meeting’s public comment portion. Janelle Bitker,, "Alameda County just paved the way for more food pop-ups," 12 Oct. 2020 Now the 60-year-old cook often works 12-hour days trying to dig herself out of the valley of despair created by the pandemic. Ed Lavandera, CNN, "Threat of homelessness piles more pressure on pandemic front lines," 12 Oct. 2020 Rather than pay prevailing wages to construction workers building the first blast furnace, the company built them a bunk house and hired a cook so the workers could live there. Karen Caffarini,, "Cleveland-Cliffs marks the next step in Northwest Indiana’s steel legacy. Here’s a brief history.," 9 Oct. 2020 This process achieves an even cook while retaining moistness. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Food Vacuum Sealers To Keep Your Meals Fresh," 8 Oct. 2020 Growing restless as the weeks passed, men brandished knives over the ham when the cook tried to ration it. Sarah Gilman, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Alaskan Island That Humans Can’t Conquer," 7 Oct. 2020 Harris has made a name for herself as an accomplished politician, passionate cook, and—since she was tapped as Biden's running mate—historical vice presidential candidate. Michella Oré, Glamour, "Who Is Kamala Harris's Husband? Here's What You Need to Know About Douglas Emhoff," 7 Oct. 2020 Cover and reduce heat to low, letting cook for about 25 minutes. Alex Darus, cleveland, "8 football snack recipes that will make you want to stay home this Sunday," 6 Oct. 2020 This is a pretty effective indictment of President Trump, comparing him to a very bad cook with a four-year deal. Andy Hoglund,, "Saturday Night Live recap: Chris Rock hosts season 46 in-studio premiere," 4 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In her eponymous Miss Ly Cafe in Hoi An, Vietnam, Miss Ly rests as staffers cook and whirl behind her. Star Tribune, "Peek into Miss Ly Cafe, which turns out the best food in Hoi An, Vietnam," 9 Oct. 2020 Flip and cook until golden on other side and just cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Make dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together remaining sugar, vinegar and chiles. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "A Quick and Delicious Fall Dinner Made for Dipping," 8 Oct. 2020 These fall/winter releases can help children, no matter what age, learn to cook and eat with confidence. Washington Post, "If you want your kids to get in the kitchen, these books and other resources can help," 7 Oct. 2020 Sounds like the chemistry and connection are just starting to cook and things are only going to get spicier, steamier and richer. Author: Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, "Our chemistry is awesome, but politically we’re totally incompatible. Could dating short-term work?," 4 Oct. 2020 Beard’s biggest contribution to American food was to popularize the notion that food that was purely American, composed of American products, was something that ordinary Americans could cook and be proud of. Jonathan Kauffman,, "Biography of food world legend James Beard dives into his secret life as a gay man," 28 Sep. 2020 Add zucchini and continue to cook and stir and additional 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the zucchini to heat through and soften slightly. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how you can entice kids to eat more vegetables," 26 Sep. 2020 Those primarily exhibited local fish species and offered visitors information on the best ways to cook and consume them. New York Times, "Bringing the Ocean’s Midnight Zone Into the Light," 22 Sep. 2020 Stir in greens, ¼ cup water, cumin and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook and stir, 2 minutes. Jeanmarie Brownson,, "The flavors of fall: Beets and kohlrabi come to the table," 22 Sep. 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


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

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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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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