[ kook ]
See synonyms for cook on
verb (used with object)
  1. to prepare (food) by the use of heat, as by boiling, baking, or roasting.

  2. to subject (anything) to the application of heat.

  1. Slang. to ruin; spoil.

  2. to process (computer programming code or other digital data) for use in an executable file format.

  3. Slang. to falsify, as accounts: to cook the expense figures.

verb (used without object)
  1. to prepare food by the use of heat.

  2. (of food) to undergo cooking.

  1. Slang.

    • to be full of activity and excitement: Las Vegas cooks around the clock.

    • to perform, work, or do in just the right way and with energy and enthusiasm: That new drummer is really cooking tonight. Now you're cooking!

    • to be in preparation; develop: Plans for the new factory have been cooking for several years.

    • to take place; occur; happen: What's cooking at the club?

  1. a person who cooks: The restaurant hired a new cook.

Verb Phrases
  1. cook off, (of a shell or cartridge) to explode or fire without being triggered as a result of overheating in the chamber of the weapon.

  2. cook up, Informal.

    • to concoct or contrive, often dishonestly: She hastily cooked up an excuse.

    • to falsify: Someone had obviously cooked up the alibi.

Idioms about cook

  1. cook one's goose. goose (def. 11).

  2. cook the books, Slang. to manipulate the financial records of a company, organization, etc., so as to conceal profits, avoid taxes, or present a false financial report to stockholders.

Origin of cook

First recorded before 1000; (noun) Middle English co(o)ke, Old English cōc (compare Old Norse kokkr, German Koch, Dutch kok ), from Latin cocus, coquus, derivative of coquere “to cook”; akin to Sanskrit pácati “(he) cooks, bakes, roasts,” Slavic (Polish ) piec “to bake, roast,” Greek péssein, péptein “to boil, cook”; the verb is derivative of the noun

Other words from cook

  • cook·a·ble, adjective
  • cookless, adjective
  • un·cook·a·ble, adjective

Other definitions for cook (2 of 3)

[ kook, kook ]

verb (used without object)Scot.
  1. to hide, especially outdoors, as by crouching down behind a hedge.

Origin of cook

First recorded in 1780–90; of uncertain origin

Other definitions for Cook (3 of 3)

[ kook ]

  1. Frederick Albert, 1865–1940, U.S. physician and polar explorer.

  2. George Cram [jawrj-kram], /ˈdʒɔrdʒ ˈkræm/, 1873–1924, U.S. novelist, dramatist, and poet.

  1. Captain James, 1728–79, English navigator and explorer in the South Pacific and Southern Oceans, particularly in the areas of Australia and New Zealand.

  2. Sir Joseph, 1860–1947, Australian statesman, born in England: prime minister of Australia 1913–14.

  3. Mount Cook, a mountain in New Zealand, on South Island. 12,349 feet (3,764 meters).: Also called A·o·ra·ki [ah-oh-rah-kee], /ˌɑ oʊˈrɑ ki/, A·o·ran·gi [ah-oh-rahng-gee]. /ˌɑ oʊˈrɑŋ gi/. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cook in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cook (1 of 3)


/ (kʊk) /

  1. to prepare (food) by the action of heat, as by boiling, baking, etc, or (of food) to become ready for eating through such a process: Related adjective: culinary

  2. to subject or be subjected to the action of intense heat: the town cooked in the sun

  1. (tr) slang to alter or falsify (something, esp figures, accounts, etc): to cook the books

  2. (tr) slang to spoil or ruin (something)

  3. (intr) slang to happen (esp in the phrase what's cooking?)

  4. (tr) slang to prepare (any of several drugs) by heating

  5. (intr) music slang to play vigorously: the band was cooking

  6. cook someone's goose informal

    • to spoil a person's plans

    • to bring about someone's ruin, downfall, etc

  1. a person who prepares food for eating, esp as an occupation

Origin of cook

Old English cōc (n), from Latin coquus a cook, from coquere to cook

Derived forms of cook

  • cookable, adjective
  • cooking, noun

British Dictionary definitions for Cook (2 of 3)


/ (kʊk) /

nounMount Cook
  1. a mountain in New Zealand, in the South Island, in the Southern Alps: the highest peak in New Zealand. Height: reduced in 1991 by a rockfall from 3764 m (12 349 ft) to 3754 m (12 316 ft): Official name: Aoraki-Mount Cook

  2. a mountain in SE Alaska, in the St Elias Mountains. Height: 4194 m (13 760 ft)

British Dictionary definitions for Cook (3 of 3)


/ (kʊk) /

  1. Captain James . 1728–79, British navigator and explorer: claimed the E coast of Australia for Britain, circumnavigated New Zealand, and discovered several Pacific and Atlantic islands (1768–79)

  2. Sir Joseph. 1860–1947, Australian statesman, born in England: prime minister of Australia (1913–14)

  1. Peter (Edward). 1937–95, British comedy actor and writer, noted esp for his partnership (1960–73) with Dudley Moore

  2. Robin, full name Robert Finlayson Cook . 1946–2005, British Labour politician; foreign secretary (1997–2001), Leader of the House (2001-2003)

  3. Thomas. 1808–92, British travel agent; innovator of conducted excursions and founder of the travel agents Thomas Cook and Son

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with cook


In addition to the idioms beginning with cook

  • cook someone's goose
  • cook the books
  • cook up
  • cook with gas

also see:

  • chief cook and bottlewasher
  • short order (cook)
  • too many cooks spoil the broth
  • what's cooking

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.