\ ˈku̇k How to pronounce cook (audio) \

Definition of cook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 2)

transitive verb

1 : to prepare (food) for eating by a heating process Cook the vegetables over low heat for 10 minutes. The fish was cooked in a wine sauce. He cooked dinner for his guests.
2 : concoct, fabricate usually used with up cooked up a scheme
3 : to alter (something, such as records) with the intention of deceiving or misleading : falsify, doctor The point is that every country's numbers are the result of a specific set of testing and accounting regimes. Everyone is cooking the data, one way or another.— Alexis C. Madrigal — see also cook the books
4 : to subject (something) to the action of heat or fire during preparation Agents discovered a recipe for cooking meth at his lab …— Andrew E. Serwer

intransitive verb

1 : to prepare food for eating especially by means of heat We're too busy to cook tonight. I enjoy cooking for friends.
2 : to undergo the action of being cooked The rice is cooking now.
3 : occur, happen She tried to 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.
cook one's goose
: to make one's failure or ruin certain

Other Words from cook


cookable \ ˈku̇-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce cook (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Dungarvon Whooper is a local ghost story about a 19th-century cook named Ryan who was robbed and murdered at a lumber camp near the Dungarvon River. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 12 May 2022 Thermometers with a wide temperature range are useful for larger foods with longer cook times. Sarah Wharton, Good Housekeeping, 11 May 2022 Dua’s also a fantastic cook, according to Rina, who says her older sister has taken over Christmas dinner duties, where Dua makes her Yorkshire pudding and everything else from scratch. Jen Wang, Vogue, 10 May 2022 The company couldn’t find enough employees to operate its two restaurants, said Steven Owens, a cook for the business. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 8 May 2022 Usually Jo, who’s an amazing cook, will make roast chicken. New York Times, 6 May 2022 Dockery hugged Ogborn and tried to console her, and Jason Bradley, 27, a cook who Summers at one point called in to watch Ogborn, refused to go along with the caller's instructions to remove her apron and describe her. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 5 May 2022 Add the shallots, bell pepper and ½ teaspoon salt to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Leanne Brown, CNN, 4 May 2022 There’s nothing more telling than the contents of a cook’s pantry. Adina Steiman, WSJ, 4 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many places that sell boba tea around the Valley purchase their pearls in bulk and cook them in-store. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 5 May 2022 During the Covid-19 pandemic, Ikea shut down its restaurants and released the recipe for customers to cook them at home. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 30 Apr. 2022 Turns out, the Instant Pot is a great way to cook it. Washington Post, 24 Apr. 2022 There are about a dozen major decision points and several dozen minor decision points in the Tequila production process – from what agave to use, to how to cook it, crush it, ferment and distill it, among others. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 23 Apr. 2022 The solution is to cook them on the firmer end of al dente to make sure there’s no breakage. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 29 Apr. 2022 McCoy entered the culinary world after learning to cook from his grandmother, who raised him and ran a catering business. CNN, 26 Apr. 2022 Come up with a new dish that intrigues everybody and work together as a family to cook it. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Mar. 2022 Add the diced carrots or other root vegetables to the warm oil and cook them until tender, about 10 minutes. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cook


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th 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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The first known use of cook was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cook


\ 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.

Cook biographical name

\ ˈku̇k How to pronounce Cook (audio) \

Definition of Cook

James 1728–1779 English navigator and explorer

More from Merriam-Webster on cook

Nglish: Translation of cook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cook for Arabic Speakers


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