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See also: Kochen and Köchen



From Middle High German kochen, from Old High German kohhōn, from Proto-West Germanic *kokōn (to cook).

This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.
Particularly: “Sense development -- at what point in the evolution from Proto-West Germanic *kokōn (to cook, in general) did this term get the much more limited and specific sense of "to boil"?”


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɔχən/, [-χən], [-χn̩], [-χɴ̩], [-xən], [-xn̩], [-xŋ̍]
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kochen (weak, third-person singular present kocht, past tense kochte, past participle gekocht, auxiliary haben)

  1. (intransitive, of a person) to cook, to prepare food (chiefly hot food for lunch or supper)
  2. (transitive, of a person) to cook something (in a) liquid (e.g. soup, chili, spaghetti)
  3. to boil
    1. (intransitive, of a liquid) (to reach the boiling point)
    2. (transitive) (to heat a liquid until it boils)
  4. (intransitive, figuratively) to be stirred up or agitated, especially with anger

Usage notes[edit]

  • Intransitive kochen can be used for all sorts of food preparation that require at least some amount of work and effort. However, there is a strong tendency to use the verb only for the preparation of a proper dinner, be it lunch or supper. Hence, the preparation of, say, an onion tart for dinner is kochen, even though the food is baked. Contrarily, the preparation of breakfast is only rarely called kochen even if eggs are boiled in the process.
  • Transitive kochen can generally be used only for actual boiling. Hence, ein Steak kochen (to cook a steak) would be understood solely as dropping a steak into a pot of boiling water.



  • (of a liquid: to boil): sieden
  • (make a liquid boil): sieden
  • (prepare food in boiling liquid): garen (broader)

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • kochen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • kochen” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
  • kochen” in Duden online
  • kochen” in OpenThesaurus.de