\ 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 Normally contingents from each country camp, sleep, cook, and perform the stages of hajj together, building bonds and meeting Muslims from across countries and cultures. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Hajj without the crowds: How pilgrims are persevering," 31 July 2020 Jones regretted that the quality of their evening meal had declined somewhat because their best cook, Muck-Wa Roberts Sr., was shot in the knee while patrolling in early July. Krithika Varagur, The New York Review of Books, "Patrolling Minneapolis’s Native American History," 31 July 2020 The young cook, who lost both his parents in 2017, was diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma just days after his 13th birthday, according to a statement from his family. Mary Honkus,, "MasterChef Junior Star Ben Watkins, 13, Diagnosed with Rare Tumor 3 Years After His Parents' Death," 30 July 2020 Despite the way the cheescake business has transformed Chen’s daily life, this isn’t the typical side hustle story, where a cook or chef with an unspoken love for a cuisine has finally gotten the chance to make it. Soleil Ho,, "Bay Area cheesecake Basuku finds a cult following through Instagram for delicate concoctions," 30 July 2020 His father, Li Yuanjian, was a former cook on a steamship. Amy Qin,, "Li Zhensheng, photographer of China’s cultural revolution, at 79," 7 July 2020 These will include the captain (who is often the boat owner), a cook, and sometimes a steward or a naturalist/guide. Elizabeth Heath, Washington Post, "Why this may be the moment for a micro cruise," 2 July 2020 Make the most of summer with easy salads, no-cook sides, plus festive desserts and cocktails. Sunset Magazine, "19 Recipes to Try This July," 3 July 2020 This is how people try to make cooking beans seem too difficult for the regular cook. Justin Phillips,, "Podcast: Daniel M. Lavery on why the dinner table is a classic setting for melodrama," 29 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Summer is arguably the most difficult time to cook. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "13 things that make cooking during the summer easier," 10 July 2020 Guests raved about basking in the sunset at Naila Fort with an Oberoi-calibre cocktail in hand and learning how to cook regional specialties during classes organized by the hotel. Sarah Bruning, Travel + Leisure, "Top 5 India Resort Hotels," 8 July 2020 Bradley credits his grandmother Charlene Miles for teaching him how to cook. Amanda Albee, Dallas News, "Turkey Leg Paradise draws loyal fan base for its ‘fall off the bone’ guarantee," 6 July 2020 So just to give you one last question: If someone were to cook one recipe of yours, what would that be? Justin Phillips,, "Hawa Hassan will put Somali food in the spotlight — on her own terms," 6 July 2020 At Truth, the veggie pie gave the mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions room to breathe — and more importantly, room to cook. Mike Sutter,, "52 Weeks of Pizza: Truth Pizzeria restaurant rocks a hybrid New York-Neapolitan style on San Antonio’s East Side," 3 July 2020 While teaching Kermit to cook, Miss Piggy realizes something has gone terribly wrong. Washington Post, "Style Invitational Week 1391: ‘Covid’-free zone!," 2 July 2020 People who aren’t inclined to cook or who have been working all day needn’t worry about wowing others with their homemade tagliatelle or gorgeous fig tart. Jennifer G. Wolcott, The Christian Science Monitor, "In a pandemic summer, picnicking ‘nurtures the soul’," 1 July 2020 Taking 15 minutes to prep and roughly 45 total to cook, the salad will shine in Teigen’s gorgeous wooden serving bowl. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Chrissy Teigen shares her favorite recipes for the Fourth of July," 1 July 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

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on cook

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cook

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cook

Spanish Central: Translation of cook

Nglish: Translation of cook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cook for Arabic Speakers

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