\ 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 Let there be cook-offs and art walks and music in the square. al, "Bienville Square: Storm damage hurts, but it’s not the end," 20 Sep. 2020 Castillo stresses the resting period almost as much as the cook time, saying that is the real secret to success. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "A pitmaster’s secret to the best pulled pork at home," 16 Sep. 2020 Place them in bowls and on top of plates for pops of fall color in your cook space. Shelby Deering, Better Homes & Gardens, "12 Festive Ways to Feature Fall Pumpkin Decor in Your Home," 10 Sep. 2020 Banza is known for its excellent texture and cook time, more similar to regular rice than most other brands. Popular Science, "The best chickpea-based pastas and rice," 8 Sep. 2020 Since then, the family has been left running the business by itself, with just one cook coming in on the weekends. Andrea Kramar, USA TODAY, "How does a sweet potato café survive in the pandemic? This Black-owned small business in Detroit is battling odds.," 5 Sep. 2020 Line cook DeAndre Kitchens has worked alongside Richards for the past decade. Washington Post, "Atlanta chef Todd Richards makes the best of a bad situation by mentoring others," 3 Sep. 2020 Regardless of cook temp, remember it’s the internal temps that are most important: 130 degrees for rare,140 degrees for medium rare, 155 degrees for medium, and 165 degrees for well done. John Dudley, Field & Stream, "John Dudley’s 5 Summer Grilling Recipes," 26 Aug. 2020 This tart variety tastes great with brown sugar and warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, and has a firm texture won’t break down during longer cook times. Lisa Cericola, Southern Living, "The Best Apples for Baking," 26 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Her father, Wilmer Brown, taught her to cook, a skill that enabled her, as a single mother, to generate extra income to help her two older children pay college tuition. Vincent T. Davis,, "Honey’s Place on San Antonio’s East Side a throwback to old nightclubs and soul food stops," 21 Sep. 2020 Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, add the broccoli florets (blanch the florets and stems separately) and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Patricia S York, Southern Living, "How To Cook Broccoli," 18 Sep. 2020 Add the peppers, onions, garlic and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to wilt and soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Jessica Battilana,, "One-pot braised chicken features silky late-summer peppers," 18 Sep. 2020 Add bacon, and cook, stirring often, until crispy, about 8 minutes. People Staff,, "Kristin Cavallari's One-Pot Chicken Ragù à la King," 17 Sep. 2020 Note: To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Northeast Ohio’s apple harvest is ripe for the picking," 17 Sep. 2020 Add butternut squash, zucchini, kale, and ½ tsp each salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Celebrate National Family Meals Month with Delicious, Good-For-You Dinners," 14 Sep. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic forced more Americans to stay — and cook — at home, driving up demand — and prices — at supermarkets. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Overall food prices continue to rise, though rate of increase slowed in August," 12 Sep. 2020 Combine and cook 3-5 minutes without additional stirring, allowing tofu to brown. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Leaning In: Chef Jenn Ross on highlighting Black excellence," 8 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

23 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 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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