\ 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

Pitmaker, a company that both builds barbecue pits and puts them to the test at competitive cook-offs. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Stellar lineup of 25 top pitmasters and chefs announced for Southern Smoke 2019," 17 July 2019 Delfina Ramirez, 24, ends her shift as a line cook at Facebook midday. Melia Russell,, "Facebook cafeteria workers protest pay, hours in San Francisco," 16 July 2019 She was employed as a prep cook at L’Étoile in Madison when the chef quit; Ms. Gilmore, still a teenager, was promptly promoted to chef. New York Times, "Elka Gilmore, Chef Who Blended the Old and the New, Dies at 59," 12 July 2019 Arboleda started his career as a line cook at what is now Cucina Palm Beach after graduating from Florida Culinary Institute in 2010. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Calaveras Cantina’s Day of the Dead chic and Mexican cuisine coming to Boca Raton," 28 June 2019 Oscar had been working as a cook in a pizzeria while the family lived with her in San Martín, a municipality in central El Salvador just east of the country's capital. Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, "A father and daughter drowned crossing the Rio Grande. Here's how their journey began," 26 June 2019 Francisco Leon has been a restaurant cook more than a decade. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Owners of new downtown Elgin Mexican restaurant hope big salsa selection becomes ticket to success," 7 June 2019 His older brother migrated to the U.S. four years ago and has made a decent living working as a cook in Maryland, so Heder took out a string of loans and paid a smuggler $11,000 to guide him to the waiting house near the U.S. border. Lauren Bohn, Marie Claire, "Who Killed Claudia Gomez?," 2 May 2019 The newspaper reported nearly 300 U.S. workers had applied or been referred for jobs as waiters, waitresses, cooks and housekeepers but only 17 were hired. Skyler Swisher,, "Trump’s Mar-a-Lago wants to hire dozens of foreign workers," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until barely softened. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "This classic barbecue chicken recipe will complete your summer," 3 July 2019 But for missions to the moon or Mars, space-cooking technology still has to overcome some serious obstacles. Chelsea Gohd, Scientific American, "The Space Station May Soon Smell like Fresh-Baked Cookies," 2 July 2019 Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Christopher Kimball,, "Recipes: Three light and easy pasta dishes for summer," 2 July 2019 Her practices are deceptively simple: buy local, cook, garden and compost food waste; mend clothes or repurpose them; travel by bicycle or public transit whenever possible. Andrea L. Dooley,, "Take this first step for a zero-waste lifestyle," 2 July 2019 Still, no worries, all you home-cooking crepe lovers—physics has come to the rescue. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "No more lumps: Let physics be your guide to making the perfect crepe," 28 June 2019 The young girl, who stumbled out of the window while her mother was cooking, wasn’t injured. Fox News, "Teen hailed a hero after catching toddler falling from second-story window in Turkey, viral video shows," 27 June 2019 The festival’s cooking competitions, which were open to both home and professional chefs, are the only competitions in Maryland sanctioned by the World Food Championships. Aegis Staff Report,, "Fallston Barrel House chef wins burger competition at first Maryland Foodie Fest," 27 June 2019 Featuring bite-sized calamari, scallops and rock shrimp, the seafood itself was cooked properly, however, the breading was too thick and lacked crunch. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "At pricey East End Italian restaurant, you may be paying more for the experience than food," 26 June 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

20 Jul 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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!