1. phrasal verb If someone cooks up a dishonest scheme, they plan it. [informal] [V P n] ⇒ He must have cooked up his scheme on the spur of the moment. [Also V n P] 2. phrasal verb If someone cooks up an explanation or a story, they make it up. [informal] [V P n] ⇒ She'll cook up a convincing explanation. [Also V n P] 3. phrasal verb → cook If you cook up a quantity of food, especially a large quantity, you heat it until it is ready to be eaten. [V n P] ⇒ Hot food is available, though the prisoners have to cook it up themselves. [V P n (not pron)] ⇒ He used to cook up great cauldrons of pasta.
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