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[koo k-boo k] /ˈkʊkˌbʊk/
a book containing recipes and instructions for cooking.
Also, British, cookery book.
Origin of cookbook
1800-10, Americanism; cook1 + book Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cookbook
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Some of it might come out of a cookbook," said Betty demurely.

    A Little Girl in Old Boston Amanda Millie Douglas
  • Suddenly Rebecca Mary was on her feet, waving the cookbook jubilantly.

    Rebecca Mary Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • She made a new kind of pudding out of the cookbook and it turned out well.

    Joan of the Journal Helen Diehl Olds
  • The most hampering circumstance was the cookbook itself, which she was driven to use in her new undertaking.

    Rebecca Mary Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • Really all you need to know how to cook is a cookbook and intelligence.

    Winona of the Camp Fire Margaret Widdemer
Word Origin and History for cookbook

1809, from cook + book (n.). Earlier was cookery book (1630s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cookbook



Routine; mechanical; unimaginative: All he did was adopt the cookbook solution (1970s+)


  1. A chemistry laboratory manual (1950s+ Students)
  2. ny guide, manual, protocol, etc: We use a cookbook of procedures (1970s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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cookbook in Technology

(From amateur electronics and radio) A book of small code segments that the reader can use to do various magic things in programs.
One current example is the "PostScript Language Tutorial and Cookbook" by Adobe Systems, Inc (Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-10179-3), also known as the Blue Book which has recipes for things like wrapping text around arbitrary curves and making 3D fonts.
Cookbooks, slavishly followed, can lead one into voodoo programming, but are useful for hackers trying to monkey up small programs in unknown languages. This function is analogous to the role of phrasebooks in human languages.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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