\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cook


cookable \ ˈku̇-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce cookable (audio) \ 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

Home cooks are easily captivated by tricks for peeling garlic en masse. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "Humanity’s Eternal Quest for a Better Way of Peeling Garlic," 18 June 2019 Now, there’s a new addition to the garlic-peeling bag of tricks, one that some home cooks were not yet privy to. Melissa Locker, Time, "Intense Garlic Hack Has Captivated the Internet and People Have Never Been More Pumped to Peel," 17 June 2019 Her food, stamina and perseverance is a model for all Southern cooks. Shauna Stuart |,, "Six Alabama chefs on the culinary legacy of Leah Chase," 11 June 2019 For the new cookbook, Crapanzano collected 100 recipes from Los Angeles restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, juice bars and cocktail lounges, retooling the recipes as needed for home cooks. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Avocado hummus from cookbook on L.A. restaurants," 11 June 2019 Most home cooks won’t have the bones or the time for this so feel free to substitute store bought chicken demi-glace. Claire Perez,, "Sage French Café demystifies crispy duck," 7 June 2019 Regardless, when our red-to-the-core tomatoes are allowed to ripen on the vine and then go straight to home cooks and restaurants, they are prized for their juiciness and delicious flavor. Ann Maloney,, "Dig into the red, ripe Creole Tomato Fest this weekend," 5 June 2019 The Taste Testers Cookbook Club invites all home cooks and culinary aficionados to join them in taste-testing a cookbook., "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 5 June 2019 Plus, many home cooks are switching to cast iron as a healthy alternative to aluminum and traditional nonstick pans. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Clean a Cast-Iron Pan," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Brisket, beef tendon and oxtail are pressure-cooked to softness with cinnamon, thyme and orange peel. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Cane doubles the pleasures with chef-driven Caribbean cooking," 19 June 2019 The organization will cook and pack more than 300 hot meals a week for homeless people in the area. William Langhorne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gannett Foundation program awards $20,000 grants to two Milwaukee nonprofit organizations," 17 June 2019 Add 3 patties to pan; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through, turning once. Judy Buchenot, Naperville Sun, "Suburban Cooks: Life changes takes this self-taught chef on journey that started with cooking out of necessity," 11 June 2019 People started cooking less, eating out more, and relying on packaged products for their calories. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Highly processed foods look more and more unhealthy. The reason why may be hiding in our guts.," 11 June 2019 If using fresh peas, cook peas just barely covered in water in a saucepan with a dash of salt until almost done, but still slightly firm, drain and allow to cool. 2. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Small town favorite restaurant hoping for new owners," 7 June 2019 Everything cooks in one pan for easy preparations and cleanup. Linda Gassenheimer, miamiherald, "Try the sheet pan dinner trend with these tasty shrimp fajitas," 4 June 2019 First, the duo cooked up a digital representation of the Milky Way galaxy. Quanta Magazine, "Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis," 29 Apr. 2019 The goal was to ensure that the sprawling individual spaces (among them the market, an all-day Spanish Diner, the fire-cooking restaurant Leña and the seafood spot Mar) were outfitted in decor coming almost exclusively from Spain. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A Mecca of Spanish Design and Food Opens in New York," 3 Apr. 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.

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

22 Jun 2019

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
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.

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).


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!