\ˈku̇k \

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 \

Definition of Cook (Entry 3 of 3)

James 1728–1779 English navigator and explorer

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cook


cookable \ˈku̇-​kə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of cook in a Sentence


the hearty meals prepared by the cook at summer camp


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Also, the festival — also sponsored by House of Wings and the Green Family Foundation — will feature an art expo zone, a barbecue cook-off competition and a Teens Exercising Extraordinary Success (T.E.E.S.) youth zone. Randy Grice, miamiherald, "Overtown Music & Arts Festival 'showcases the progress' of a community," 10 July 2018 The days of peeling, boiling and mashing were now optional, and for millions of cooks, Thanksgiving became a little easier. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "How Potatoes Conquered the World," 15 Nov. 2018 By daylight, local people were bringing food, a corps of volunteer cooks that would swell to more than a hundred. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 The Mar-a-Lago club asked for 40 H-2B visas for servers and another 21 for cooks. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Trump's Mar-a-Lago asks Labor for permission to hire 61 foreign workers," 6 July 2018 This year, the pay for a cook at Mar-a-Lago starts at $13.31 per hour – down three cents from the year before. Fox News, "Trump's Mar-a-Lago seeks to hire 61 foreign workers," 6 July 2018 The beehive was inherited from a couple of talented and ambitious cooks that came before me. Discover Magazine, "One-on-One with Executive Chef Kevin Erving," 6 July 2018 The city that Noma built is now a culinary mecca not only for gastronauts but also for young cooks from around the world who come here to work at forward-thinking restaurants before going off to open their own casual concepts around town. Bon Appetit, "Copenhagen," 25 June 2018 The system is so ingrained, the wait staff doesn't even write out orders for the cooks. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "The first Miami Waffle House was not open quite yet, but dozens of people couldn't wait | Miami Herald," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But this latest appearance seems apropos: The Duchess spent the day cooking with close friends and giving thanks, all while helping those less fortunate. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Meghan Markle Gets Into the Thanksgiving Spirit," 21 Nov. 2018 Indian food cooked in vegetable oil or margarine instead of butter—and excised red meats, whole milk, eggs, and cream. Mayukh Sen, Bon Appetit, "In Search of Fatima Lakhani, Whose Cookbook Changed the Way My Family Ate," 27 June 2018 The 33-year-old died while cooking dinner in April. Keith Bierygolick,, "How does a 33-year-old die two months after moving here from India? A coroner's report now provides some answers," 15 June 2018 Adam Danforth, a butcher, earlier this month demonstrated to a group of chefs in New Mexico how to cook different cuts of meat from a four-year-old sheep, including loins and the rib-eye cap. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "All Sheeps and Sizes: Mutton Prices Soar as More Diners Dig In," 18 Nov. 2018 Bobby, the chef there, had just moved from San Francisco to learn how to cook Vietnamese food, which was then under-recognized in the U.S. and Europe. Pilar Guzmán, Condé Nast Traveler, "Editor's Letter: Coming Full Circle," 13 Nov. 2018 Connie Britton brings quiet strength to her characters and a lot of love to the table, on screen and in real life — just don't ask her to cook. Lindsey Benoit O'connell, Redbook, "Connie Britton Shares Her Rules for a Totally Chill Holiday Season," 29 Oct. 2018 My mom is no longer allowed to cook Italian meals on September 11, the meatballs and the sauces... (CROSSTALK) (LAUGHTER) CAVUTO: How is the family with everything? Fox News, "Former NYSE chair on reopening Stock Exchange after 9/11," 12 Sep. 2018 Bring to medium-high heat and cook until the mixture starts to thicken., "A gluten-free recipe for big fans of ... gluten," 12 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cook

Dictionary Entries near cook






Cook's tour


Statistics for cook

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cook

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

: to happen or take place


\ˈku̇k \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cook

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cook

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!