[koo k-ing]
See more synonyms for cooking on
  1. used in preparing foods: a cooking utensil.
  2. fit to eat when cooked (distinguished from eating): cooking apples.

Origin of cooking

First recorded in 1635–45; cook1 + -ing1, -ing2
Related formsself-cook·ing, adjective


[koo k]
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.
  3. Slang. to ruin; spoil.
  4. Informal. 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.
  3. Slang.
    1. to be full of activity and excitement: Las Vegas cooks around the clock.
    2. 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!
    3. to be in preparation; develop: Plans for the new factory have been cooking for several years.
    4. 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.
    1. to concoct or contrive, often dishonestly: She hastily cooked up an excuse.
    2. to falsify: Someone had obviously cooked up the alibi.
  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

before 1000; (noun) Middle English cok(e), Old English cōc (compare Old Norse kokkr, German Koch, Dutch kok) < Latin cocus, coquus, derivative of coquere to cook; akin to Greek péptein (see peptic); (v.) late Middle English coken, derivative of the noun
Related formscook·a·ble, adjectivecook·less, adjectiveun·cook·a·ble, adjective


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

Origin of cook

1780–90; perhaps blend of Middle English couche bend, stoop (see couch) and Middle English croke bend, stoop (see crooked) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cooking

Contemporary Examples of cooking

Historical Examples of cooking

British Dictionary definitions for cooking


  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 processRelated adjective: culinary
  2. to subject or be subjected to the action of intense heatthe town cooked in the sun
  3. (tr) slang to alter or falsify (something, esp figures, accounts, etc)to cook the books
  4. (tr) slang to spoil or ruin (something)
  5. (intr) slang to happen (esp in the phrase what's cooking?)
  6. (tr) slang to prepare (any of several drugs) by heating
  7. (intr) music slang to play vigorouslythe band was cooking
  8. cook someone's goose informal
    1. to spoil a person's plans
    2. to bring about someone's ruin, downfall, etc
  1. a person who prepares food for eating, esp as an occupation
See also cook up
Derived Formscookable, adjectivecooking, noun

Word Origin for cook

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


noun Mount 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)


  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)
  3. Peter (Edward). 1937–95, British comedy actor and writer, noted esp for his partnership (1960–73) with Dudley Moore
  4. Robin, full name Robert Finlayson Cook . 1946–2005, British Labour politician; foreign secretary (1997–2001), Leader of the House (2001-2003)
  5. 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

Word Origin and History for cooking



Old English coc, from Vulgar Latin cocus "cook," from Latin coquus, from coquere "to cook, prepare food, ripen, digest, turn over in the mind" from PIE root *pekw- "to cook" (cf. Oscan popina "kitchen," Sanskrit pakvah "cooked," Greek peptein, Lithuanian kepti "to bake, roast," Old Church Slavonic pecenu "roasted," Welsh poeth "cooked, baked, hot"). Germanic languages had no one native term for all types of cooking, and borrowed the Latin word (Old Saxon kok, Old High German choh, German Koch, Swedish kock).

There is the proverb, the more cooks the worse potage. [Gascoigne, 1575]



late 14c., from cook (n.); the figurative sense of "to manipulate, falsify, doctor" is from 1630s. Related: Cooked, cooking. To cook with gas is 1930s jive talk.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cooking


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.