Definition of cover in English:

cover

verb

  • 1Put something on top of or in front of (something) in order to protect or conceal it.

    ‘the table had been covered with a checked tablecloth’
    ‘her husband had covered up his bald patch’
    • ‘The front windows were covered with a series of green shutters to keep the afternoon sun from pouring into them.’
    • ‘The shuttle's exterior is covered with thousands of tiles designed to protect it from the extreme heat of re-entry.’
    • ‘All three types of catheters are covered with a sterile dressing that should be kept clean and dry.’
    • ‘Massive tapestries and paintings decorated the walls and a large rug covered most of the stone floor.’
    • ‘The rest of his crop is covered with conventional white canopy to protect it from the fierce westerlies common in the area.’
    • ‘Blom has covered the walls and floors of the gallery in white polypropylene sheeting.’
    • ‘Their marching shoes are covered with spotless white over-socks into which their pants are tucked.’
    • ‘The floor was black and white marble, except where covered by intricate oriental rugs.’
    • ‘Now the windows were covered with plywood and the sidewalk buckled in front.’
    • ‘The fish's body is covered with scales that overlap each other like the shingles on the roof of a house.’
    • ‘Instead I was confronted with a grimy-looking building with billboards covering the windows and obscuring the interior.’
    • ‘It was covered with a slab of original limestone, still blackened from fire and inscribed with the date.’
    • ‘First, we covered the beautiful polished wooden floor with plastic, so we wouldn't get paint on it.’
    • ‘Secure with rubber band and then cover with a decorative hair ornament.’
    • ‘The skin around the head was covered with long shaggy hair.’
    • ‘In addition her elbows, wrists, and shins were covered with steel protective plates.’
    • ‘The front of the enclosure is covered with a panel that is as thick as the rest of the casing.’
    • ‘Body workers sometimes work with clients who are naked, although more often they are covered with a sheet.’
    • ‘Mulberry paper also has been used for drawing and as a Korean household item, covering windows and floors.’
    • ‘In Melbourne the boy's face was covered up but in Sydney it was full-framed.’
    put something on top of, place something over, place under cover
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    1. 1.1 Envelop in a layer of something, especially dirt.
      ‘he was covered in mud’
      figurative ‘she was covered in confusion’
      • ‘The lips are covered with skin on the outside and with slippery mucous membranes on the inside of the mouth.’
      • ‘After ten days my face was covered with freshly growing skin.’
      • ‘He went out to look and saw that the front of the school was covered with water and impassable.’
      • ‘I claimed that the early Earth was covered with water, as stated in the Bible.’
      • ‘Penny was covered in mud but there was nothing she could do about it.’
      • ‘Both were covered completely in dirt, mud, and more of that reddish stuff.’
      • ‘Water drenched the front of his shirt and his face was covered with it, as well.’
      • ‘Only, the surface of the fruit is covered with crystal, giving it a surreal look.’
      • ‘Fire trucks clustered around the scene and the ground was covered with mounds of white, fire-retardant foam.’
      • ‘They have two long slender wings, completely covered with scales, a thin skin covers them almost like fabric.’
      • ‘Her shoulders were covered with rough, peeling skin, the result of sunburn.’
      • ‘It takes you an hour to pack and then everything is covered in dirt and sand within two minutes.’
      • ‘When the Guardian visited yesterday, their burnt legs were covered with a white cream and wrapped in plastic.’
      • ‘The path was covered with green grass, a stream ran beside it.’
      • ‘He dragged himself up the walk, dimly noticing that the front window was covered with condensation.’
      • ‘They had been replaced by dingy towers that were covered in rust and dirt and the streets were full of filth.’
      • ‘A thick layer of dirt covered him, probably from having been dragged along the filthy floors of the prison.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, a cold front had moved in and the car windshield was covered with frost.’
      • ‘From head to toe, he and his blue and white militia's uniform were covered in dirt.’
      • ‘I ran my hands over my body trying to remove the layer of dirt that may have covered me since my last shower.’
      • ‘His uniform imitated veterans, his jacket being the only thing not covered in dirt.’
      cake, coat, encrust, plaster, spread thickly, smother, daub, smear, bedaub, overspread
      blanket, overlay, overspread, carpet, overlie, extend over, layer, coat, film, submerge
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    2. 1.2 Scatter a layer of loose material over (a floor or other surface), leaving it obscured.
      ‘the barn floor was covered in straw’
      • ‘A thin layer of golden glitter covered the stone floor, making it shimmer like the lavender dust on her eyes.’
      • ‘This was not the first time the floor of a gallery space had been covered with loose natural material.’
      • ‘In front of the stagecoach office, the lane is still covered with snow as the stage is on sleigh runners.’
      • ‘Papers scattered the floor, covering every inch like a carpet.’
      • ‘The beach was covered with jellyfish in an array of colours.’
      • ‘The book was covered with fine dust, but the binocular lens gleamed.’
      • ‘Stalks of straw covered the floor and random stalks floated about in the breeze.’
      • ‘The seat, floor and dash were covered by a fine layer of twigs and needles blown in by the wind.’
      • ‘The cathedral was adorned with pink and white roses and Samantha's small brown coffin was covered with pink roses.’
      • ‘However, in 1974, following deterioration, the site was covered with soil to protect it.’
      • ‘The garbage was covering the entire kitchen floor.’
      • ‘The cell had a single wooden cot which the bandits hadn't bothered to put a mattress on, and the floor was covered in straw.’
      • ‘Each canvas is covered with graphite and the image is erased into the surface.’
      • ‘Layers of dust covered its surface as if no one had dared look at their reflection in it in a very long time.’
      • ‘It turns out that last week, though, those greens were covered with a few inches of white stuff.’
      • ‘I scanned the layer of dead leaves covering the rainforest floor but saw nothing.’
      • ‘The only chair in front of the desk was covered with imprints, dirt, rocks, and powder.’
      scatter, pepper, sprinkle, strew, litter
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    3. 1.3 Lie over or adhere to (a surface), as decoration or to conceal something.
      ‘masonry paint will cover hairline cracks’
      • ‘Beyond the end of the bar, the wall was covered from floor to ceiling in mirrors.’
      • ‘It was painted a horrible cream colour completely covering the beautiful old brickwork.’
      • ‘These coffins are covered with a wood veneer which is removed before cremation or burial.’
      • ‘Originally the pyramids were covered with a protective coating of polished white limestone.’
      • ‘Slate flooring covers the powder room, laundry room, and the fireplace hearth.’
      • ‘The whole thing is covered with gold, pure gold, and the tile work is exquisite.’
      • ‘Paint covered everything except for the dusty green chalkboards at the front of the room.’
      • ‘They were normally constructed from a series of upright stones and dry masonry, covered by a large slab.’
      • ‘And, finally, do the trim so that any paint that accidentally gets on the trim can be covered.’
      • ‘The forward unit of the fuselage was covered with aluminum sheet skin that was riveted to the bulkheads.’
      • ‘His office wall was covered with a single giant map.’
      • ‘The walls here are covered in childish murals painted by the women.’
      • ‘When used for inexpensive furniture, particle board is usually covered with laminate or veneer.’
      • ‘The original yellow paint covers the lower forty-nine inches of the left side.’
      • ‘Gillian's sofa hasn't arrived yet: and the hall floor hasn't been covered.’
      • ‘The old wall used to be covered by peeling off-cream paint.’
      • ‘The place he was in appeared to be a small rectangular room, the walls and floor covered in a chrome surface.’
      decorate, bedeck, adorn, ornament, trim, trick out, garnish, hang, festoon, garland, swathe, wreathe
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  • 2Extend over (an area)

    ‘the grounds covered eight acres’
    • ‘This was later extended to become a permanent ban covering a large area, including European Union waters.’
    • ‘The site covers an area of 40 acres and it pre-dates Newgrange.’
    • ‘It is estimated that up to 1,200 people have land on the road's route, which covers an area of around 800 acres.’
    • ‘The Dinaric Alps that cover this area also extend southward into Serbia and Montenegro.’
    • ‘Woodview, a four-bedroom detached house, is situated on a third of an acre and covers an area of 2,150 square feet.’
    • ‘First was the huge ballroom, covering the whole 3rd floor.’
    • ‘About 40 officers began a search for the murder weapon in the park, which covers an area of two square miles.’
    • ‘The zone, which covers an area of 23.4 square kilometres, is designed to become one of the largest in Asia.’
    • ‘Each cooperative covers an area ranging from 500 hectares to 1,000 hectares.’
    • ‘The tree is more than 700 years old and it covers an area of 3 acres.’
    • ‘The footpath should have been extended to cover this very small area whilst the Bus Shelter was being put in place.’
    • ‘They'd better be quick about it, because a gas plume would cover the area within eight minutes.’
    • ‘The fund helps forces stretched by covering large areas with relatively low populations.’
    • ‘The site of Ganweriwala covers an estimated area of 80 hectares.’
    • ‘Our geographic district has been extended so that we cover an area at least double the previous size.’
    • ‘A disgusting, intoxicating odor covered the entire area, and cans littered the ground.’
    • ‘The site covers an area of thousands of acres and was first observed three years ago by Mr. Gibbons when on a field trip in the area.’
    • ‘The net needed to be extended by two more kilometres to cover the entire area of hatching, he felt.’
    • ‘If it could be assembled on the ground it would cover an area as large as two football fields.’
    • ‘The missiles can fly out from a single platform to spread out and cover a large area.’
    extend, spread, continue, range, unfold, unroll, be unbroken
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    1. 2.1 Travel (a specified distance)
      ‘it took them four days to cover 150 miles’
      • ‘Nearly 12 hours later, after covering a distance of 30 miles, they completed their journey - just barely.’
      • ‘The club will cover 5,000 miles and travel through 14 countries across Europe and North Africa.’
      • ‘The lads are covering a total distance of 144 miles, across sand, stones, mountains, dried lakes, river beds and dunes.’
      • ‘The hardest day of the walk was Monday when they covered the greatest distance, 18 miles and mostly uphill.’
      • ‘But if you tunnel underground and travel in a straight line, you cover less distance.’
      • ‘After covering a distance of more than forty-two miles, finally, they are allowed to rest.’
      • ‘Our response to disappointment has not been to lengthen our stride but to shorten the distance to be covered.’
      • ‘She covered the distance in 71 hours, cycling through countryside and mountains almost non-stop.’
      • ‘DO YOU know that the train that covers the longest distance passes through Ernakulam on Thursdays and Fridays?’
      • ‘During this time we will be covering a distance of 679.5 miles.’
      • ‘If you do five rides a week for 100 miles, try covering the same distance in just three rides one week.’
      • ‘Only one rider will be allowed off the train at any time and they expect to cover a distance of 50 miles.’
      • ‘Communication and travel was slow, ships and messages took years to travel the distances covered.’
      • ‘When we talk about a stride, we mean the distance covered by all four feet within a given gait.’
      • ‘In all likelihood, it won't have covered the same distance as he has in the last 13 months.’
      • ‘The distance he covered was one mile, and he did it in 24 minutes 36 seconds, a new world record.’
      travel, journey, go, do, put behind one, get under one's belt, travel over, pass over, journey across, journey over, traverse, cross, go across, make one's way across, range over, tramp over
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  • 3Deal with (a subject) by describing or analysing its most important aspects or events.

    ‘a sequence of novels that will cover the period from 1968 to the present’
    • ‘This novel of ideas covers myriad issues and themes, all related to the transcending power of love.’
    • ‘You'll also receive periodic special alert emails covering important events and topics.’
    • ‘The history of birth control is not a subject that is covered in most schools.’
    • ‘Other courses cover issues that are important for all aspects of humanitarian work.’
    • ‘There are some very interesting pieces in the book which covers many important issues and topics.’
    • ‘The National Opposition will be supporting this bill to the select committee, because it covers some important issues.’
    • ‘It also helps to focus the conversation so that you're sure to cover the most important issues on your mind.’
    • ‘We have expanded the categories to 13, covering both the masonry and concrete arenas.’
    • ‘If I don't get to cover a topic or period in class, the kids have to study it on their own to be ready for the exam.’
    • ‘In summary, this book covers a very important subject.’
    • ‘This excerpt covers the two most important, lack of time and self-destructive group behaviour.’
    • ‘It covers all of the important legal details, from jury selection to available punishment.’
    • ‘A good look at the surroundings should educate most delegates on the important issues to be covered.’
    • ‘We shall comment further below on this important work, covering topics in the theory of equations, number theory and geometry.’
    • ‘Several special issues covering important subjects were published during that period.’
    • ‘While each appendix is very brief, it covers important topics.’
    • ‘Some archaeologists have extended this approach to cover whole landscapes.’
    • ‘The text is intentionally brief, though all the essential aspects of this enormous subject are covered.’
    • ‘I hope the Minister will take a call and assure the Committee that he has covered these very important issues.’
    1. 3.1 Investigate, report on, or show pictures of (an event)
      ‘Channel 4 are covering the match’
      • ‘As he spoke, the pagers of reporters who were covering the meeting started to beep.’
      • ‘Journalists sometimes cover issues and events that conflict with the interests of advertisers.’
      • ‘Remarkably, the hundreds of reporters covering these debates think little of the corporate sponsorship of the debates.’
      • ‘In view of the investigation to be conducted into the arms deal, some aspects would not be covered by these three agencies.’
      • ‘The timing will also offer opportunities to meet with BBC reporters in the area covering the elections.’
      • ‘Failing to cover such an important community event would not be a big deal if a local radio station was on air.’
      • ‘A medical report from Dr. Myers covering this event has been disclosed to the defence.’
      • ‘When covering these debates, reporters often try to use university scientists as objective arbiters.’
      • ‘Each morning Barbara reads journalists' reports covering events in the Middle East.’
      • ‘It's the local reporter covering the race, wanting to know what you think of your opponent's recent attack on you.’
      • ‘A number of media outlets are cutting back on the size of their traditional phalanx of reporters covering the event.’
      • ‘Reporters, however, cover meetings only when there is the promise of something newsworthy.’
      • ‘And reporters covering events that will bring them near to leaders were screened for exposure to SARS.’
      • ‘Let's imagine an education reporter covering the local school board.’
      • ‘The dozens of reporters who covered the event were especially curious about yoga and vegetarianism.’
      • ‘The reporter and cameraman were covering the severe cold and snow that plunged much of the country into crisis.’
      • ‘The newspaper provided evidence from two reporters covering the event who each agreed on the poor organization.’
      • ‘But first we'll have a look at how the media have been covering the Wall Street meltdown in recent days.’
      • ‘Reporters covering traumatic events can take some steps of their own.’
      • ‘An advantage of sites like this is that citizens can cover issues and events that local mainstream media ignore.’
      report, write up, write about, describe, commentate on, tell of, give an account of, write an account of, broadcast details of, publish details of, investigate, look into, enquire into
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    2. 3.2 Have responsibility for or provide services to (a particular area)
      ‘development officers whose work would cover a large area’
      • ‘Because China Telecom has long operated fixed-line phone services, its cable network covers a large area.’
      • ‘The service covers Moreton in the north, Winchcombe in the east, Chipping Norton in the west and Burford in the south.’
      • ‘Providing additional resources to cover areas where distance from existing ambulance bases is an issue’
      • ‘A colleague at one of the service providers that we cover told me a few months ago that I was perspicacious.’
      • ‘Installation was carried out by John Corcoran of Corcoran Dairy Services whose area covers a 40-mile radius of Laois.’
      • ‘Moreover, the chapter covers all service areas not specifically excluded - a very wide brush indeed.’
      • ‘The fourth department covers the specific subject of sporting events.’
      • ‘Enhanced services will cover areas such as minor surgery or improving access to patients.’
      • ‘The service covers 400 children in an area of more than 600,000 square kilometres.’
      • ‘Wiltshire College provides the further education service for most of the area covered by your newspaper.’
      • ‘The main changes are in the areas covered by Social Services.’
      • ‘There are some 50 Internet service providers covering some 100 cities in 26 provinces across the nation.’
      • ‘Dr Pedlow claimed the package would cover areas which very rarely offered obstetric services.’
      • ‘Her area of responsibility covers four states in the southeastern region of the United States.’
      • ‘It's cheaper to cover areas with cell phone service than with regular copper lines if there are none now.’
      • ‘In addition, remote areas can be covered by wireless or satellite services.’
      • ‘In 2001 the service covering Paris received 300 000 calls.’
      • ‘Wind farms, distributed across good locations to cover a service area, can be up and running in a year.’
      • ‘The bus services will go from point to point and all important places will be covered.’
      • ‘His school provides secondary education to a catchment area that covers some of Preston's most deprived wards.’
      include, involve, take in, deal with, contain, comprise, provide for, embrace, embody, incorporate, subsume, refer to, consider
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    3. 3.3 (of a rule or law) apply to (a person or situation)
      ‘the offence covers a wide spectrum of culpability’
      • ‘In particular, the Regulation covers the families of EC workers, which are nowhere mentioned in the Treaty.’
      • ‘The difference is they are regulated and covered by law.’
      • ‘The rules cover employees on contracts for a fixed term or task.’
      • ‘Most of the laws cover companies that provide services to cities but not workers on city payrolls.’
      • ‘But what legislation covers a physician who is flying?’
      • ‘The law covers anybody who misbehaves criminally.’
      • ‘As a result, many small, hard-to-measure, unintended benefits will no longer be covered by the rules.’
      • ‘The regulation covers all local women of child-bearing age, including the jobless.’
      • ‘At that time, previously existing amnesty laws covering politicians were struck from the constitution.’
      • ‘It sounds rather tied to this particular case, rather than every case covered by the rule.’
      • ‘The flagstick is an important part of the game of golf and is covered by Rule 17 in the Rules of Golf.’
      • ‘Can we suppose that people would have consented to a maximizing rule covering these situations?’
      • ‘If she's not a person covered by the law then there's nothing even to investigate.’
      • ‘Changes are also expected to be made to laws covering part-time employees.’
      • ‘It only applies in England and Wales, as separate laws cover Scotland.’
      • ‘These self-employed women are not covered by labour laws that protect members of the formal sector.’
      • ‘Only property with a value of more that $25,000 will be covered by this rule.’
      • ‘This bill is similar to legislation covering teachers in the classroom setting.’
      • ‘Where does this legislation cover the employees and the directors?’
      • ‘This is because the penalty points law only covers the car user.’
      be relevant, have relevance to, have a bearing on, bear on, appertain, pertain, relate, concern, be concerned with, have to do with
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  • 4(of a sum of money) be enough to pay (a cost)

    ‘there are grants to cover the cost of materials for loft insulation’
    • ‘I enquired if it covered Room Service, ready to dole out the extra.’
    • ‘The additional fees help cover the cost of the work station, but also should increase the income of the teacher.’
    • ‘The department believes that the fees cover the true costs of administration.’
    • ‘Don't spend on head count and overhead and hope you can make enough money to cover your costs.’
    • ‘Those expenditures will cover the cost of new processes and equipment in the upgrading area.’
    • ‘While the sinking fund may not cover the full cost of such an operation, it can take the sting out of its tail.’
    • ‘Hopefully, with two and a half days work last week I made enough money to cover my costs.’
    • ‘The money will cover the implementation cost of bulk and link services until June 2005.’
    • ‘Despite this huge increase in funding, there is still not enough money to cover everyone seeking help.’
    • ‘This fee helps cover the cost of media and the time involved in identifying the causal agent.’
    • ‘This way they earn enough money to cover most of the cost of both steers.’
    • ‘The money will cover the costs of planting, maintaining and protecting the new trees.’
    • ‘Residential taxes don't cover the city's costs of servicing communities.’
    • ‘The allowance covers workers who provide services to Olympic venues or Olympic live sites.’
    • ‘The handling fee barely covers the cost of packing materials and the insane cost of the credit card transaction.’
    • ‘The festival fees help cover the cost of a truck and gasoline, and volunteers drive around to collect the refuse.’
    • ‘However, the fee barely covers the real cost of tuition.’
    • ‘When wages barely cover living costs, the working classes cannot fund the whims and fancies of politicians forever.’
    • ‘Within a few hours they had raised enough money between them to cover the £100 cost of its contents.’
    • ‘The entrance fee barely covered costs but the club earned handsomely from drink sales.’
    • ‘It would not arise at all if the sum borrowed covered those costs.’
    • ‘The federal contribution covers the remaining infrastructure costs, which total $40.2 million.’
    offset, counterbalance, balance, cancel out, make up for, pay back, pay, pay for, be enough for, fund, finance, make up, have enough money for, provide for
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    1. 4.1 (of insurance) protect against a liability, loss, or accident involving financial consequences.
      ‘your contents are now covered against accidental loss or damage in transit’
      • ‘He made no effort to find another automobile insurer that would cover Stephanie.’
      • ‘Beyond that, you can still get care from an outside source, although it may not be covered by your insurance.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, hearing aids are often not covered by health insurance companies.’
      • ‘We are still the only industrial nation whose citizens are not all covered by health insurance.’
      • ‘But the people who have all those things would be most likely to be covered by insurance.’
      • ‘Each state will determine if these services will be covered by Medicaid.’
      • ‘Never bill an insurer for a service that is covered instead of the treatment actually provided.’
      • ‘The solutions may not be covered by your insurance, but your well-being is worth it.’
      • ‘Chimney fire damage and repair normally is covered by homeowner insurance policies.’
      • ‘Standard risks will continue to be covered by normal insurance cover.’
      • ‘Some services have become more available to patients; others are not covered by health insurance.’
      • ‘Taxpayers who itemize can deduct disaster losses not covered by insurance or federal aid.’
      • ‘Many landowners require that pilots flying on their land be covered by liability insurance.’
      • ‘If your business premises is flooded this year, the insurance would cover you for loss of turnover next year.’
      • ‘Your insurer will not cover you for accidents.’
      • ‘One complication here is that you may be covered by insurance for some situations.’
      • ‘Many insurers will still cover you for existing conditions, providing you are not travelling against your doctor's advice.’
      • ‘Kyra is involved in an experimental therapy that isn't covered by insurance.’
      • ‘An example is cosmetic services, typically not covered by third-party payers.’
      • ‘The drug will be covered by health insurance for the first time under a new law that went into effect in March.’
      • ‘If you have the surgery only to improve your appearance, it might not be covered by insurance.’
      • ‘They are not always covered by insurance, as they are not labeled as approved for use by pregnant women.’
      insure, protect, secure, underwrite, provide insurance for, assure, indemnify
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    2. 4.2cover oneself Take precautionary measures so as to protect oneself against future blame or liability.
      ‘one reason doctors take temperatures is to cover themselves against negligence claims’
      • ‘The company is covering itself against longer term weaknesses.’
      • ‘In retrospect, these were classic weasel words used routinely by politicians covering themselves.’
      • ‘She said it was just a way of the council covering itself so it was not responsible for not providing enough water pressure.’
      • ‘The councillor felt the officials had covered themselves well and the legal advice had dotted the i's and crossed the t's.’
      • ‘The director is saying that the violence will cause the film to fail at the box office, but that's just him covering himself because the other two didn't set the world on fire.’
      • ‘He's like a guy who spills soup on himself and then thinks he's covering himself by saying, ‘I meant to do that.’’
      • ‘His cronies have to think about covering themselves in case he falls from power.’
      • ‘Many Irish firms have put money aside to cover themselves against any future claims.’
      • ‘Media have difficulty covering themselves when the owners' financial interests are seriously in play.’
      • ‘The police also bear responsibility for overreacting - the suspicion is that they were only covering themselves rather than making a proper risk assessment.’
      • ‘As an avid reader, I often find myself questioning the science in a lot of books, but Sawyer covers himself very well.’
      • ‘In addition to covering yourself and your firm from liability, training classes create another revenue source.’
      • ‘Nothing like covering yourself in a court of law.’
      • ‘He covers himself against the charge of plagiarism by making sure he acknowledges the sources of his quotes.’
      • ‘I was touched by their concern, until I realised they're only covering themselves should I decide to sue.’
  • 5Disguise the sound or fact of (something) with another sound or action.

    ‘Louise laughed to cover her embarrassment’
    • ‘Do the Rebels intend a nocturnal attack or is this shooting supposed to cover up their retreat?’
    • ‘She used her hand to rub her eyes to make it seem like they were itchy, but in fact she was covering the tears.’
    • ‘The sound of running water covered any and all other noises that day.’
    • ‘Even though the noise was covering their argument he couldn't have an out and out there.’
    • ‘It was almost as if he was putting on a mask or disguise to cover his sorrow.’
    • ‘The noise level would pick up however, just enough to cover the rain of the silent bombs.’
    • ‘The words were covered by the heavy sounds of cheers and the banging of the bass drum.’
    • ‘I knew that the sounds of the waters and the night noises would cover my quiet words.’
    • ‘He laughed, covering the sudden feeling of stupidity.’
    mask, disguise, obscure, hide, stop something being overheard, muffle, stifle, smother
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    1. 5.1cover forno object Disguise the illicit absence or wrongdoing of (someone) in order to spare them punishment.
      ‘if the sergeant wants to know where you are, I'll cover for you’
      • ‘An appropriate punishment for having covered for the president would have been four more years of cleaning up after him.’
      • ‘It is led by a man whose vocabulary is littered with apocalyptic language, even as he covers for some of the worst evils being perpetrated.’
      • ‘Like today, I almost got punished for covering for Matt.’
      • ‘And what charges will you make against a president who so obviously covered for his consigliere all this time?’
      • ‘Fortunately, his landlady's daughter has a crush on her ‘true gentleman’ and covers for him.’
      • ‘He covered for me when Mr. Patterson questioned about my week's absence early in the morning.’
      give an alibi to, provide with an alibi, shield, protect
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    2. 5.2cover forno object Temporarily take over the job of (a colleague) in their absence.
      ‘during August ministers cover for other ministers’
      • ‘Computers and teaching assistants are set to replace teachers in covering for staff when they are off work.’
      • ‘The story effectively starts when his partner covers for Gibson's absence one day.’
      • ‘I called in a few favours, got some colleagues to clear some of my paperwork and to cover for me, and left the office.’
      • ‘There is the matter of the other employees who may end up covering for absent colleagues’
      • ‘Johnson's bat covered for Jeter's absence almost perfectly.’
      • ‘In terms of replacements to cover for the injured players, Sedgley could do a lot worse than follow Orrell's example.’
      • ‘Pryce started Friday's 46-6 victory covering for an absent colleague, injured full back Withers.’
      • ‘In 2001 teachers in Doncaster and London refused to cover for absences any longer than three days.’
      • ‘Workers are absent for up to three weeks a year - a cost of £10m a year after taking into account the cost of covering for the absences.’
      • ‘All lessons are being covered either by supply teachers or staff covering for colleagues.’
      • ‘The illness, the covering for sick colleagues, the boredom and the hunger, meant nerves were always at full stretch.’
      • ‘Two deputy head teachers at the school in Burnley Road will cover for Mr Thomas until a replacement is appointed.’
      • ‘He was covering for a colleague when the attack happened.’
      • ‘Clearly, this eases the pressure on colleagues who have had to cover for them during their absence and saves the council money.’
      • ‘Over the next two years it will limit teachers to spending only 38 hours a year covering for absent colleagues.’
      • ‘There is currently an undisclosed number of such teachers brought in to cover for absent colleagues on any given day.’
      • ‘Most people are consumed with the more obvious issues, such as covering for their absences at work and at home.’
      • ‘They are arguing for a ballot to refuse to cover for absences of longer than one day to unify the action.’
      • ‘Apparently the temporary manager who was covering for the landlord's holiday quit and skipped town.’
      • ‘He handled money, covered for absences by members in Hamburg, and trained in the camp himself.’
      stand in for, fill in for, act as stand-in for, deputize for, act as deputy for, substitute for, act as substitute for, take over from, double for, be a substitute for
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  • 6Aim a gun at (someone) in order to prevent them from moving or escaping.

    ‘she raised her gun to cover Klift’
    • ‘Jacques gave him a chilling smile and he glanced at Arti before swinging his gun to cover Alex with the nozzle.’
    • ‘Jim took two quick steps backwards, trying to cover Diana with the gun and keep from losing sight of Harry.’
    • ‘Hiding behind the trunk I glanced at the pit of the machine gun that covered my friends.’
    • ‘Roy let loose with a burst that dropped the two men, then turned his weapon towards the trio covering Winger.’
    • ‘John moved for his gun, but Silas was already covering him.’
    • ‘He could only watch with an impressed look and cover her with his gun.’
    1. 6.1 Protect (an exposed person) by shooting at an enemy.
      ‘we retreated behind spurts of covering fire’
      • ‘Keep your formation closed up so your escort can cover you.’
      • ‘I went where she fell down and covered her, firing my rifle at the enemy.’
      • ‘Due to the enemy's covering, seizing the hospital put us further from the enemy than at any other point around the garrison.’
      • ‘As the patrol departs the compound, the gunners swing their turrets and cover out.’
      • ‘Under covering fire they charged the building, throwing grenades into it and securing the position.’
      • ‘The enemy uses cover and backup well, but it still falls victim to your elite sniping skills.’
      • ‘One of the soldiers rushed forward and began frisking the older man while his comrades covered him.’
      • ‘Enemies duck, cover, flank your positions, and generally try to kill you as intensely as you try to kill them.’
      • ‘Nick made the rest of the trip to the door and Diana covered him with the gun.’
      • ‘I made a hand motion and he nodded, getting ready to cover me if the guards noticed me climbing.’
      • ‘Sam was hanging back to cover David and Jason's escapes, and one of the men grabbed her.’
      • ‘He opened all the doors, whipped out his gun, and covered us while we all slipped inside.’
    2. 6.2 (of a fortress, gun, or cannon) have (an area) within range.
      • ‘We anticipated that the road would be mined, or the enemy would have it covered with mortar and artillery fire.’
      • ‘North Korea is also building up its deployment of Rodong missiles, which have a range that covers all of Japan.’
      • ‘Dated 13 May, it shows unexploded munitions covering large populated areas of Iraq.’
      • ‘In real life, you use a 360 [degrees] zone of fire and learn to be conscious of what your pistol is covering.’
      • ‘It deploys submunition shrapnel at defined intervals, covering a wide lethal area against soft targets.’
      • ‘The island will be covered by the garrison on the Falkland Islands.’
    3. 6.3Cricket Stand behind (another player) to stop any missed balls.
      • ‘Ironically, Dailly had been trying to shepherd the ball clear as he covered behind Elliott.’
      • ‘Henderson took the sting off his close-range effort and Bower was covering behind him to clear off the line.’
    4. 6.4 (in team games) take up a position ready to defend against (an opposing player).
      • ‘Teams covering Zubov for the shot open up the passing lane, which is where Brett Hull lives.’
      • ‘It's easy for a defenseman to cover if the two of you are right on the same plain.’
      • ‘Los Angeles Galaxy defender Paul Caligiuri had to cover Diallo in the first round of the playoffs.’
      • ‘He's a far better athlete than the defender covering him much of the time, but he doesn't make the defender pay for that.’
      • ‘You can also match up man to man by having each defender cover the closest man.’
      • ‘If this happens, you need to look for the player your team mate was covering, and now you cover that player.’
      • ‘The coach believes in having a lot of players who can cover, so he's sure to add a veteran or two.’
      • ‘Teams are learning asking a safety to cover Gates can be risky business.’
      • ‘He's tough for any player to cover and will face rookie Shawn Marion in this series.’
      • ‘In case of a mismatch where a smaller defender must cover a taller player, a teammate should collapse to help.’
      • ‘Defense must have 1 man on the ball and 1 covering the 2 receivers.’
      • ‘Larry Brown could counter by assigning Lindsey Hunter to cover Wade more in Game 4.’
      • ‘One of the worrying aspects for the Danes is a complete absence of cover for their two key strikers.’
      • ‘He lines up on the opposing tight end and either can cover that player or attack the quarterback.’
      • ‘There might not be a linebacker or safety in the league who can cover Westbrook man-to-man.’
      • ‘That will allow the team to cover better for an average perimeter defense.’
      • ‘Gates can't be covered by linebackers, meaning teams have to take their chances with a safety.’
      • ‘If the back defenders are covering the middle player, either or both of your sideline girls are open.’
      • ‘Jude Waddy is one of the fastest players on the team and can cover and blitz.’
    5. 6.5Baseball Be in position at (a base) ready to catch the ball.
      ‘he moved to cover second base’
      • ‘The batter hits a ground ball to shortstop, who tosses the ball to the second baseman covering the bag for a force out.’
      • ‘We had first, second and third bases covered, plus a pitcher and a catcher.’
      • ‘Dawe had certainly covered all of his bases as far as security was concerned.’
      • ‘The judge seems to have covered all of his bases in this decision, making it difficult to overturn.’
      • ‘Negotiations would follow on which bases would be covered by an agreement, he said.’
  • 7Record or perform a new version of (a song) originally performed by someone else.

    ‘other artists who have covered the song include U2’
    • ‘The song was covered by Johnnie Ray in 1956 and became a huge national hit that year.’
    • ‘Really, is there any point to covering a song Hendrix covered near-perfectly?’
    • ‘Maybe that's why his songs have been covered by more women than men.’
    • ‘I would say whoever you are the biggest honour is if your favourite band covered one of your songs.’
    • ‘A band that gets its reputation for covering songs tends to be, well, a cover band.’
    • ‘Established stars queued up to cover songs from the Mitchell songbook.’
    • ‘If you ask me, he was one of the only artists fit to cover the Beatles.’
    • ‘Her track list doesn't add up to anything more than a desire, however noble, to cover folk songs.’
    • ‘Call it hubris or a lack of imagination: some bands feel compelled to cover other artists' songs.’
    • ‘Here they are covering the most venomous song written.’
    • ‘Nevermind that fact, but he covers tunes by other respected musicians.’
    • ‘Have you ever wondered what songs by an artist have been covered, or what songs an artist has covered?’
    • ‘It's tempting to think of this song as Marc Jordan covering a Rod Stewart song, but this, in fact, is the original.’
    • ‘There have also been some big bands that have covered Last Resort songs.’
    • ‘He's also been listening to the Bunnymen, even covering one of their songs in live sets.’
    • ‘His producers gave him songs to cover that had already been big in the East.’
    • ‘Now I hate that this song is even being covered, but, man, she rises to the occasion.’
    • ‘Around 20 people perform at any one time, covering songs from Johnny Cash to Kylie Minogue.’
    • ‘Taking the step of creating an entire album by covering songs takes guts.’
    • ‘He sang along under his breath to the songs he was covering.’
    • ‘Although we had to cover one of his songs, once, for a compilation LP.’
  • 8(of a male animal, especially a stallion) copulate with (a female animal)

    ‘a working stallion who has covered forty mares this season’
    • ‘Molony wants stallion owners to reduce the number of mares each sire covers and to be more selective.’
    • ‘Fortunately, we found this out before the stallion commenced covering mares from September 1 and saved many breeders from disappointment.’
    • ‘A lot of big racing stables wanted to get mares covered.’
    • ‘When a small breeder wishes to have his mare covered by a top stallion, he will pay top dollar for the privilege.’
    • ‘They introduced further Arab blood into the Percheron breed by covering selected mares with two Arab sires.’
  • 9Bridge
    Play a higher card on (a high card) in a trick.

    ‘the ploy will fail if the ten is covered’
    no object ‘East covered with his queen’
    • ‘The threes are themselves eligible cards, so one of them covers the other, resulting in a score of 53.’
    • ‘The first card in each centre stack must be an ace, then 2, 3, and so on in sequence up to queen, each card played being one higher than the card it covers.’
    • ‘A card fits if it is next in rank above the card it covers (irrespective of suit).’

noun

  • 1A thing which lies on, over, or around something, especially in order to protect or conceal it.

    ‘a seat cover’
    ‘a duvet cover’
    • ‘You can customize these buttons by sliding your own labels under the removable clear plastic covers.’
    • ‘The spherical covers not only protect the antenna but also hide which direction it is pointing in.’
    • ‘There is a dense cloud cover, and then it rains.’
    • ‘The casing includes a circular area on the front protected by an acrylic cover.’
    • ‘To our right, carpets of flowers reach up to a thick cloud cover.’
    • ‘Even if you have a fitted boat cover, consider adding a tarp over it to protect the cover from bird droppings or other damage.’
    • ‘The wind blew the row cover off the seed bed leaving the tender young radishes exposed to the flies.’
    • ‘In fact, the only thing that isn't going to work is the duvet cover.’
    • ‘Never store leather in plastic bags or other nonporous covers or containers.’
    • ‘The unit is fantastic for shirts, duvet covers and bedspreads and uses only 2.4 feet of space.’
    • ‘Making sure the distance was accurate; he pressed a red button on top of the control stick which was concealed by a flip-up cover.’
    • ‘She saw the toilet to his right and, figuring it as good a place as any, walked to it, taking a seat on the lowered cover.’
    • ‘When these guys brandished guns on their album covers you knew they weren't joking.’
    • ‘This cover protects the soil from raindrop impact, reducing erosion and crusting of the soil.’
    • ‘Before displaying the car in public, I washed it, painted over major scratches and put fresh covers on the seats.’
    • ‘For example, fabric row covers can protect low-growing food crops, such as cabbage or squash.’
    • ‘‘If we put covers on before it's totally thawed out, the covers basically protect the frost,’ he said.’
    • ‘The heating elements are very well protected and the cover is washable.’
    • ‘They've been asking a lot of questions about these seat covers.’
    • ‘Many of them are so tall that they are hidden by dense cloud cover for days at a time.’
    • ‘With either system, deep rubber floormats and coated vinyl seat covers are included to protect the interior from muddy riders.’
    sleeve, wrapping, wrapper, covering, envelope, sheath, sheathing, housing, jacket, casing, cowling
    coating, coat, covering, layer, carpet, blanket, overlay, topping, dusting, cloak, mantle, canopy, film, sheet, veneer, crust, surface, skim, skin, thickness, deposit, veil, pall, shroud
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A thin solid object that seals a container or hole; a lid.
      ‘a manhole cover’
      • ‘The cover to the hole from the sewers began to twitch, then was lifted and set aside by pale hands.’
      • ‘Then she carefully fitted the other side of the silver cover and sealed both sides together with her finger.’
      • ‘The plants are placed in the pit, the pots are mulched in and the cover sealed down.’
      • ‘The ground floor windows have been sealed with fitted steel covers.’
      • ‘Three years ago, three serious offenders escaped after throwing a loose manhole cover through a fence during exercise.’
      • ‘His rescue began when a neighbor heard him whimpering lifted a manhole cover and peered into the storm drain.’
      • ‘Try a plastic bag over the storm cover to protect it from rain and sand.’
      • ‘The back cover is designed for one purpose only: to completely conceal the rear of the motherboard.’
      • ‘Adam took a frozen dinner from the fridge, stabbed a few holes in the filmy cover and threw it in the microwave.’
      • ‘She replaced the cover and stabbed holes in it, even though she knew he was dead.’
      • ‘The gas board had forgotten to put the cover back on the hole.’
      • ‘A small recess along the top lip of the can ensures a tight seal with the upper cover.’
      • ‘Light shone through the holes in the manhole covers.’
      • ‘Attempts from the council to board them up and drill holes in the covers to let water flow through have failed.’
      • ‘Daniel lifted the manhole cover and placed it on the side.’
      • ‘Hair from each subject was collected in a plastic container with a cover.’
      • ‘A third hole made in the cover and plugged with a rubber septum was used for watering.’
      • ‘Behind the battery cover, your memory cards are protected from pocket fluff.’
      • ‘Manhole covers have been sealed, sight-lines checked and staff vetted.’
      • ‘When I got home, I discovered the problem - the memory card cover had broken off.’
    2. 1.2 A thick protective outer part or page of a book or magazine.
      ‘the year that Crime and Punishment appeared in hard covers’
      • ‘The young man made his way as illustrator for book covers and magazines.’
      • ‘You cannot always judge a book by the cover, title page, or table of contents.’
      • ‘Almost all of his work from then on was for magazine covers and book illustrations.’
      • ‘Her commercial work includes newspaper and magazine features and book covers.’
      • ‘The report, bearing the Pentagon seal on its cover, was posted two weeks ago on a US Department of Defense web site.’
      • ‘She will not be indulging in either Botox or a facelift for the cover photo shoot.’
      • ‘I'm just trying to get one more back cover blurb to assure bestseller status.’
      • ‘He was reading a book with a worn cover and yellow pages and was dressed in a normal shirt, jeans and a lab coat.’
      • ‘He appeared on the cover of Time magazine and was glamorised as a gangster the law couldn't bring down.’
      • ‘He has appeared on magazine covers, commercials and television shows.’
      • ‘I was asked to appear on covers of art magazines I had once worshipped.’
      • ‘Appearing on magazine covers - that's what she's for.’
      • ‘The cover features a dark forest at night, the title done in silver.’
      • ‘Since then, her art has been included in children's books, on book covers and in magazines.’
      • ‘After the pages were dry, I used a three-hole punch to punch holes in the covers.’
      • ‘The inside front cover has an inscription from Qian to my father.’
      • ‘Cory emailed it over last night for me to read and provide a cover blurb.’
      • ‘Your cover story revealed many unknown facts about the most beautiful monument on earth.’
      • ‘She wrote several books, appeared in the theater and on magazine covers.’
      • ‘She has been gracing covers of magazines everywhere and appearing on numerous talks shows.’
      binding, case
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3the covers Bedclothes.
      ‘she burrowed down beneath the covers’
      • ‘I lay my head back on my pillow and pulled the covers back on top of me, trying desperately to get back to sleep…’
      • ‘He sat up in his bed without a shirt on and covers concealing the lower half of his body.’
      • ‘As I slipped beneath the covers, I continued to think about what I should do with Landon.’
      • ‘They are blanketed with dull, drab covers that have holes burned right through them in some areas.’
      • ‘They were under the covers now to protect themselves from the chill in the air.’
      • ‘She curled up into a ball beneath the covers, hugging her knees to her chest.’
      • ‘She grinned as I inconspicuously grimaced and longed to duck beneath the covers.’
      • ‘I settled down beneath the covers, sighing contently.’
      • ‘And they crawl upon my bed, across my body, beneath the covers, inside my pajamas.’
      • ‘It's very important you don't let your baby's head get covered by the duvet, covers or pillow.’
      • ‘In my bed, safe beneath the covers and surrounded by pillows, I watched the moon like usual.’
      • ‘Lying down I threw the covers over my head and squeezed my eyes shut.’
      • ‘She slips in, glances around the room, gaze lingering on my bed and the pile of pillows concealed by the covers.’
      • ‘The bed was not made, and there was dirt all inside the covers and sheets of the bed.’
      • ‘Just forget about it, " I mumbled pulling the covers over my head.’
      • ‘Exhausted, he climbed into bed, pulling the thin covers up to his chin, then over his head.’
      • ‘Tyler didn't say anything else but went back into the bedroom and dived under the already pulled back covers.’
      • ‘I felt him at my back, his arm over my side beneath the covers, reaching into the sheet tied around me.’
      • ‘He put the water back, and wriggled under the covers to continue wallowing in his own self-pity.’
      • ‘Then she would pile on her warmest blankets and quilts and cuddle up beneath the covers until she was warm.’
      bedclothes, bedding, sheets, blankets, linen
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Ecology The amount of ground covered by a vertical projection of the vegetation, usually expressed as a percentage.
      • ‘Percentage cover of crusts was then estimated in the field by the visual-estimation method.’
      • ‘Irrigation before planting may work better than trying to irrigate the cover crop up.’
      • ‘One is to get adequate ground cover to avoid erosion from wind and water.’
      • ‘Vegetation cover dissipates the kinetic energy of the rain drops before reaching to ground surface.’
      • ‘In South Lakeland, experts estimate that around five per cent of the total tree cover has been destroyed by the storms.’
      • ‘His crop was planted over a wide area in small patches with a fair amount of tree cover.’
      • ‘Canopy cover strongly suppressed the transpiration activity in the shoots.’
      • ‘Often what seems like adequate grass cover does not support satisfactory levels of gain.’
  • 2mass noun Shelter or protection sought by people in danger.

    ‘the sirens wailed and we ran for cover’
    • ‘He signaled for his regiment to stop and duck down while they were still protected by the cover of the tall grass.’
    • ‘I wandered off into the trees, the sunlight pushed through the leafy cover of the trees above my head.’
    • ‘Accelerating fully, he pulled up the plane's nose and raced up into the clouds to seek some cover.’
    • ‘Right now they aren't firing at me, I guess because of the tree cover, but I can't take that chance on stopping.’
    • ‘The land was barren, with only a few gnarled shrubs and trees to offer little cover, but there was no one in sight.’
    • ‘He would have been struck had he not quickly taken cover behind a nearby tree.’
    • ‘In addition to covering in trenches, infantry units can also seek cover in buildings.’
    • ‘The infantry may be employing the tank as cover just as the tank crew decides to move out or change position.’
    • ‘There was no tree cover between him and the rail bridge, so running to the bridge would leave him exposed in the open.’
    • ‘She crawled back until she was in the safe cover of a tree, she clutched her arms and let the nausea pass.’
    • ‘We darted form place to place, seeking what little cover we could find.’
    • ‘We're wearing night vision goggles entering the city in the cover of darkness.’
    • ‘The hillsides below it had been cleared of scrub, leaving no cover under which armed men could move unnoticed.’
    • ‘They packed up in a hurry and got to the partial cover of the trees.’
    • ‘If you hear the sound of a gunshot, I want you to get down or seek cover.’
    • ‘To make it more challenging, those tombstones and trees create ideal cover.’
    • ‘The militants managed to flee taking the cover of darkness.’
    • ‘Maybe you should seek cover, maximize the distance to the threat - but do something!’
    • ‘He left the safety of the fort and ran towards and a fallen tree, for cover.’
    • ‘We were instructed to make for cover near trees or bushes rather than staying in open ground and to fling ourselves face down.’
    shelter, protection, refuge, hiding, concealment, housing, sanctuary
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Undergrowth or trees used as a shelter by animals.
      ‘the standing crops of game cover’
      See also covert (sense 1 of the noun)
      • ‘The maze of burrows created by moles may provide cover and travel lanes for many species of small mammals.’
      • ‘Dassies have less cover and need to venture further afield to feed themselves, exposing them to hunting eagles.’
      • ‘She dove under and looked at the muddy bottom, stirring it up and watching the little shelled animals run for cover.’
      • ‘Mr Adams said he had kept the dogs under control at all times and had used them to ‘flush’ foxes from cover so that they could be shot.’
      • ‘That cover helps hide any movement, such as when a hunter works a box call or peg/slate call.’
      • ‘At no time have I ever observed these specimens venturing out from cover, regardless of how dim the light.’
      • ‘When dispersed from the nest they feed in the cover of dense vegetation.’
      • ‘They stock three bird feeders, a fountain and have a lot of protective ground cover.’
      • ‘The fox by now had run for cover, but each hole he went to was of course filled in.’
      • ‘They forage on the ground in open areas, with sheltered thickets nearby for cover.’
      • ‘Mountain Quail nest on the ground in dense cover, usually sheltered by a shrub, log, or clump of grass.’
      • ‘Banded kokopu and koaro like fast flowing streams that have rocks and tree cover.’
      • ‘Animals that thrived in the now denuded forest cover are also hungry.’
      • ‘The faster ones, I'm sure, reach the cover of thin weeds and underbrush and make a new life for themselves.’
      • ‘Lawn-mowing after dark is a convenient way to mince slugs as they emerge from cover.’
      • ‘They dug down to where the heroic fox had taken cover, and shot it in the head.’
      • ‘They require a mosaic of heath, blanket bog and wetland, with rough grazing, shrubs and trees for cover.’
      • ‘The nest is typically located close to water where it is concealed in dense cover.’
      • ‘The animals scuttle for cover when they detect a change in oxygen levels.’
      undergrowth, vegetation, shrubbery, greenery, ground cover, underwood, copsewood, brushwood, brush, scrub, underscrub
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Military support given when someone is being attacked.
      ‘they agreed to provide additional naval cover’
      • ‘Red 6 pushes his dismounts forward while the Bradleys maneuver to provide cover.’
      • ‘The proper support of overhead cover is a vital aspect of a safe fighting position or observation post.’
      • ‘So instead of potentially being able to use the copter as cover you have to expose yourself to attack.’
      • ‘Extra security staff will also be in place to provide additional cover.’
      • ‘While the squad broke up to attack various positions the sniper held back to provide cover fire.’
      • ‘As he said that, he could see some of Major Conrad's men regroup themselves and provide some cover.’
      • ‘It was unclear whether he was suggesting that officials incited the mob or whether pilgrims gave cover to attackers.’
      • ‘A behemoth called Dead Reckoning, a 70 ft long armoured truck provides cover and support for the looters.’
      • ‘Later in the war, when oil and transportation targets were being systematically attacked, cover was essential.’
      • ‘The agreement ends months of strikes which forced the Army to provide cover with ancient equipment.’
      • ‘Shannon gave cover fire for Andrew back down on the street, while Andrew tried to pick Chloe up.’
      • ‘Using cover is the greatest way to extend your life in the movie, just as it was in the real war.’
      • ‘The government has authorised the use of 840 army fire engines to provide emergency cover during the strikes.’
      • ‘Soldiers are being taken off emergency fire cover to concentrate on military training.’
      • ‘As daylight broke, fighter planes from the RAF gave cover against a possible attack by the Luftwaffe.’
      • ‘The Army said it would be unable to provide nationwide fire cover.’
      • ‘Officers who have completed their normal daily shifts will be asked to provide support to the emergency strike cover.’
      • ‘This would be a short time to arrange cover and transport had I been in the UK, but I was 10 500 miles away.’
      • ‘Military officers said troops providing emergency cover had a very quiet first few hours.’
      • ‘Commandos moved house-to-house, under fire cover from helicopters and tanks.’
    3. 2.3 An activity or organization used as a means of concealing an illegal or secret activity.
      ‘the restaurant was run as a cover for a money-laundering operation’
      • ‘ISA would operate under a host of cover names to confuse anyone without the need to know.’
      • ‘Working under embassy cover offered a case officer the worst of both worlds.’
      • ‘The bombing was probably a cover for a kidnap attempt, but she wasn't there at the time, so they had to try again.’
      • ‘Everything about equality and acceptance was simply a cover for a dark conspiracy.’
      • ‘But it seemed like excellent cover for my past crimes, and no one had found me out yet.’
      • ‘At that time, the intelligence services used cover organizations to ask him to write about China.’
      • ‘The Clandestine Service needs to continue the efforts it has been making to move away from cover in embassies.’
      • ‘The British too have been painted as villains, accused of using the trials as cover for a plot to shut down the island.’
      • ‘The government said the building was used as cover by militants to attack them.’
      • ‘She's just using the feminist thing as a cover - imagine how much she can get away with in the name of feminism.’
      • ‘My immediate task was to participate in the final technical preparations for our three cover options.’
      • ‘They are unacceptable and very often a cover for the criminal underworld.’
      • ‘He also helped cover of scams and spy on the respective people of Versanalus.’
      • ‘It is difficult to see how such cover can work at all if a fronting company alone is the reinsured.’
      front, facade, smokescreen, screen, blind, deception, camouflage, disguise, mask, cloak, pretext, masquerade, feint
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4in singular An identity adopted by a spy to conceal their true activities.
      ‘he was worried that their cover was blown’
      • ‘It is an interactive exhibition encouraging visitors to pretend they are a spy and choose a cover identity.’
      • ‘She was clandestine, but probably wasn't exactly working under the deepest cover around.’
      • ‘Looks like what he was saying was that she was no longer a clandestine operative once her cover was blown.’
      • ‘She went to France under journalistic cover, accredited to the New York Post.’
      • ‘The group claimed the four were spies using the cover of Christian peace activists.’
      • ‘The letter provided the two assassins with the legitimacy and cover to gain access to the victim.’
      • ‘Zorro was one of the first popular heroes to employ a secret identity for cover.’
      • ‘In other words, you might say that her cover has been under attack for more than a decade.’
      • ‘We've heard a lot about how blowing her cover was probably illegal and certainly dishonorable.’
      • ‘The criminal is the guy who comes up short, who gets caught, who fails to adopt a respectable cover.’
      • ‘Bond really has to work in this movie - he has to set up his cover well in advance and try not to be noticed.’
      • ‘I had momentarily forgotten my false cover and my mission.’
      • ‘Throughout all my missions, my cover had only once been blown, and that was my fault, not my contacts.’
      false show, show, semblance, affectation, false appearance, appearance, outward appearance, impression, image, front, false front, guise, colour, facade, display, posture, pose, masquerade, mask, cloak, veil, veneer, smokescreen, camouflage, travesty, parody, charade
      View synonyms
  • 3British mass noun Protection by insurance against a liability, loss, or accident.

    ‘your policy provides cover against damage by subsidence’
    • ‘The better the quality, the better the cover will protect your investment.’
    • ‘Despite all these many billions spent on health and 5 years of private cover, I've picked up a bit of sniffle.’
    • ‘We supported lifetime health cover when it went through the parliament.’
    • ‘But did you know that if you are planning to rent out your property, you need extra insurance cover?’
    • ‘The purpose of life cover is to provide support for your dependants.’
    • ‘The same applies to free travel cover provided by bank package accounts and credit cards.’
    • ‘However, if you are relying on a home insurance policy, check with your insurer that cover extends to travel overseas.’
    • ‘Their cover permitted travel throughout the country and, it is thought, even into Gibraltar and the Spanish enclaves.’
    • ‘Tour operators, travel agents, airlines, banks and health insurers have started to offer travel cover.’
    • ‘Eventually, with the help of the British Epileptic Association, they were able to arrange cover.’
    • ‘In Ireland, where one can opt for private cover, there is an equally successful method of guaranteeing good treatment for the poor.’
    • ‘Yet he was concerned that, without the legal cover from Goldsmith, military personnel could be prosecuted for war crimes.’
    • ‘And the alternative, travelling without medical cover, is a dangerous gamble for the sick.’
    • ‘Although price is important, it is essential to get the correct type of cover, so make sure you compare like with like.’
    • ‘We would require some indemnity from them to cover us from liability.’
    • ‘There may be no negligence in the driving of the motor vehicle but there still be cover provided by the policy.’
    • ‘Two primary care trusts announced there would be an overhaul in arrangements for cover at community hospitals.’
    • ‘The health board does provide a grant for families having a home birth while private health cover does meet the balance.’
    • ‘Many reception venues will insist that couples have adequate insurance cover before they will hire out their rooms.’
    • ‘Some travel cover also excludes cancellations due to terrorism.’
    • ‘Skiers and snowboarders are advised not to buy cover from their travel agent unless they want to end up paying over the odds.’
    insurance, protection, security, assurance, indemnification, indemnity, compensation
    View synonyms
  • 4A recording or performance of a song previously recorded by a different artist.

    ‘the band played covers of Beatles songs’
    • ‘And when we would do funk covers people said we sounded like Jamiroquai, which I could sort of see.’
    • ‘It is a compilation of Beatles cover songs by artists that are relatively unknown.’
    • ‘The song is a cover of the 1980's teen dirge.’
    • ‘One of my favourite internet tunes from last year now has a cover version.’
    • ‘Disappointing cover version aside this is quite an accomplished album that won't disappoint.’
    • ‘Or maybe it's just a cheesy cover version and I'm getting sentimental as our departure looms.’
    • ‘Some big star should snap it up for a cover version.’
    • ‘What was kind of fun to watch was when they did cover songs from the parent's of their fans generation.’
    • ‘Sometimes the cover version is done by an artist as a loving homage to a performer they admire.’
    • ‘Good, bad or just plain wrong, If I see a cover version of a song I know, I have to have it.’
    • ‘Currently on repeat play, however, is a very bizarre cover version of the aforementioned song.’
    • ‘Do you have a favorite cover version of one of your songs?’
    • ‘Yes, I always like to do cover songs when my band acts on stage.’
    • ‘A tired old boy band singing a cover version of a song that was rubbish anyway?’
    • ‘Is it, therefore, a coincidence that their biggest hit so far is essentially a cover version; albeit a cheeky one?’
    • ‘Another cover version drew a more mixed response from both these listeners, however.’
    • ‘And no, I don't like the cover version of It's My Life.’
    • ‘The songs are a fine collection of self composed numbers and splendid cover versions.’
    • ‘I remember the Sixties covers bands that were fixtures at clubs across the North West.’
  • 5A place setting at a table in a restaurant.

    ‘the busiest time is in summer, with up to a thousand covers for three meals a day’
    • ‘In his first week of trading alone, he did 540 covers, and the restaurant received a Michelin star last month.’
    • ‘Slightly smaller, with about 40 covers, the restaurant will continue to produce his distinctive cuisine.’
    • ‘When the chance came to open my restaurant with just 40 covers around the corner, I knew I had to go for it.’
    • ‘The restaurant had covers of 110 and I was the senior wine waiter.’
  • 6Cricket

    ‘an easy catch by Hick at cover’
    short for cover point
    • ‘At this time enter sheer farce: when prop Stuart Murray had to leave the pitch Kelso had no cover and the game took on a new turn.’
    1. 6.1the covers An area of the field consisting of cover point and extra cover.
      ‘deliveries pitching outside leg stump are pounded through the covers’
      • ‘But Bashar did not last much longer and became another victim of Paul Collingwood's sharp fielding in the covers.’
      • ‘Boucher made 71, playing some handsome strokes through the covers.’
      • ‘No-one drives it through the covers quite like Brian Lara does.’
      • ‘Deliveries that were once sneaked into the covers now pummelled the boundary boards.’
      • ‘He was in good touch, his faultless timing through the covers and midwicket again in evidence.’
      • ‘After his 40 in the first innings, he was again in fine touch with a nice line in midwicket whips and punches through the covers.’

Phrases

  • break cover

    • Suddenly leave a place of shelter, especially vegetation, when being hunted or pursued.

      ‘it was more than likely that the tigress would break cover and try to rush me’
      • ‘You and a few others break cover, sprinting up the beach as if hell itself had you in it's sight.’
      • ‘We broke cover and fought our way towards the school house.’
      • ‘I saw a lone soldier break cover and run across to a ferry or barge moored on the bank of the river Po.’
  • cover all the bases

    • informal Deal with something thoroughly.

      ‘we thought our legal department had covered all the bases in our terms and conditions’
      • ‘As befits Colonial Williamsburg, the present large book about its costume collection covers all bases.’
      • ‘A book with a tripartite title may be said to cover all bases, and it does just that.’
      • ‘In covering all bases the film gives us an openhanded view of the corporation's frightening grasp on our lives.’
      • ‘The museum's approach to Ancient Egyptian culture attempts to cover all bases, but falls short of doing this.’
      • ‘It seemed to cover all bases although I was surprised that the court case was glossed over so quickly.’
  • cover one's back

    • informal Foresee and avoid the possibility of attack or criticism.

      ‘never take chances, always cover your back’
      • ‘Young people should realize that he will not hesitate to put their lives on the line to cover his ass.’
      • ‘If that's not the sign of a man covering his ass, I don't know what is.’
      • ‘He is positioning himself for the leadership battle, and covering his back by allying with the obvious successor.’
      • ‘If Ashcroft was sane, he'd realize it's time to cover his ass by farming this out.’
      • ‘The politics of precaution, of covering your back rather than putting forward daring ideas, would dominate.’
      • ‘All along he has said he is acting on the advice of the Army Board, and I think he is just covering his back.’
  • cover oneself in (or with) glory

    • Perform very well.

      ‘we didn't exactly cover ourselves in glory with our batting’
      • ‘All in Holland or with a Dutch national side which barely covered itself in glory.’
      • ‘On the sideline Kildare did not seem to cover themselves in glory either.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the government media is not exactly covering itself with glory.’
      • ‘Alas, not everyone who wraps himself in the flag covers himself in glory.’
      • ‘The New World Symphony players covered themselves with glory!’
      • ‘Last Saturday at Parnell Park in Donnycarney, Galway didn't cover themselves in glory.’
      • ‘Unhappily, neither of the props covered themselves in glory against a Bay of Plenty side which scrummaged well.’
      • ‘On the second point, the industry has not always covered itself in glory in its attempts to put consumers first.’
      • ‘With only two victories away from St. James' Park all season they have hardly covered themselves in glory on their travels.’
      • ‘The appointment of two foreign agencies who had not covered themselves with glory in Wall Street does not lend credibility.’
  • cover one's position

    • Purchase securities in order to be able to fulfil a commitment to sell.

      • ‘Importers think the same way, so they do not feel the need to cover their position by booking forward contracts.’
      • ‘Many have been selling shares that they don't own in the expectation that they will be able to take stock in the placing to cover their position.’
      • ‘When you think the danger has passed, you can cover your position.’
      • ‘The firm was not entitled to oblige him to cover his position, to refuse to allow him to trade or to close off his open positions.’
      • ‘So the trader covers his position and takes his profits to move on to the next stock on his list.’
      • ‘Unfortunately he covered his position before the recent fall in the Dow Jones.’
      • ‘If a stock has a high short interest, short positions may be forced to liquidate and cover their position by purchasing the stock.’
  • cover one's tracks

    • Conceal evidence of one's activities.

      ‘he covered his tracks so well no one has ever been able to prove anything’
      • ‘He covered his tracks with such wonderful skill that we still don't know for sure what he did and where he was at any one time.’
      • ‘As Glass resorts to desperate measures in an attempt to cover his tracks, he simply digs himself even deeper into a hole.’
      • ‘Since this is an artist who defiantly covers his tracks, this book will come as a revelation to many.’
      • ‘He covers his tracks well, and he is always very vague about what he does for a living.’
      • ‘Harrison, with Ashbury's help, manufactures evidence in hopes of covering his tracks.’
      • ‘You may think that you can cover your tracks and hide what you've been doing.’
      • ‘Belle had to find an out of the way place to hide, covering her tracks along the way.’
      • ‘Through a gruelling trial Gill lied and attempted to cover his tracks despite the evidence stacked against him.’
      • ‘The officials covered their tracks by using computer passwords of their unsuspecting colleagues.’
      • ‘Derek was a career criminal who planned his moves meticulously and covered his tracks.’
  • cover the waterfront

    • informal Cover every aspect of something.

      ‘while half the dishes are Italian, the kitchen covers the waterfront from Greece to Morocco’
      • ‘The Next Directory is huge and covers the waterfront in categories of clothing for women, men and children.’
      • ‘Here are three techniques that cover the waterfront from easy to expert.’
      • ‘A college president has to cover the waterfront, not just one discipline.’
      • ‘We need to and can cover the waterfront without being ghettoized.’
      • ‘The book contains 500 poems from American and British poets, covering the waterfront from T.S. Eliot to Maya Angelou.’
      • ‘The influence of cable news is - it covers the waterfront.’
      • ‘A former correspondent and editor covers the waterfront of problems that afflict higher education.’
      • ‘A symposium will seek to cover the waterfront of issues that bear upon modern Tamil drama.’
      • ‘I plead guilty to the charge that a short essay did not cover the waterfront.’
      • ‘The study suggested that generalist firms - which try to cover the waterfront with a range of retail and institutional products - may struggle to stay afloat.’
  • from cover to cover

    • From beginning to end of a book or magazine.

      ‘it's a book to be read from cover to cover’
      • ‘I can't remember the last time I read a book from cover to cover.’
      • ‘I enjoy your articles, and I usually read the magazine from cover to cover.’
      • ‘He took the rule book, read it from cover to cover, and then forgot all about it.’
      • ‘I read this book from cover to cover within a day.’
      • ‘I did not read the book from cover to cover, but I spent time flipping through its pages.’
      • ‘One need not read the books from cover to cover to benefit from their findings.’
      • ‘It is certainly not a book to read from cover to cover.’
      • ‘I bought that magazine, read it from cover to cover, then subscribed.’
      • ‘Read whole books from cover to cover without interruptions’
      • ‘One person at least does seem to have read this book from cover to cover.’
  • take cover

    • Protect oneself from attack by ducking down into or under a shelter.

      ‘if the bombing starts, take cover in the basement’
      • ‘Sam takes cover and ducks behind a support post.’
      • ‘Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took cover multiple times in protected areas.’
      • ‘When you hear the air attack warning, you and your family must take cover at once.’
      • ‘Many of them ran and took cover as gun shots rang out.’
      • ‘Spectators take cover under colourful umbrellas or in makeshift tents to protect themselves from the blistering sun.’
      • ‘The man ducked and took cover on the opposite side of the bar.’
      • ‘Soldiers cover each other, take cover, retreat when injured, and generally work efficiently.’
      • ‘Enemies take cover, sometimes knocking over tables and ducking behind them.’
      • ‘Everyone either ducked or took cover behind the slick columns.’
      • ‘Instinctively, he ducked and rolled out of the way, taking cover behind a Spanish cabinet.’
      skulk, loiter, lie in wait, lie low, hide, conceal oneself, take cover, keep out of sight
      View synonyms
  • under cover

    • Under a roof or other shelter.

      ‘store seats under cover before the bad weather sets in’
      • ‘The programme would be limited to 500,000 cattle due to move on to pasture after spending the winter under cover.’
      • ‘They were smart enough to stay indoors, and under cover.’
      • ‘Every day, more than 200 rail passengers park their cycles, under cover at the station.’
      • ‘Producers are growing greater volumes of fruit and vegetables under cover.’
      • ‘The stairwell is under cover, not cleaned by rain.’
      • ‘Most other events, big concerts, mini-concerts, and workshops, were well under cover.’
      • ‘But because it is in October we need most of it under cover.’
      • ‘League standards deem stadiums must have a minimum capacity of 6,000 including 2,000 seats under cover.’
      • ‘Dr Kehoe said the bulk of strawberries grown under cover are produced in peat-filled bags, placed on shelves.’
      • ‘This habitat should also contain densely vegetated corridors to allow these secretive birds to move under cover.’
  • under cover of

    • 1Concealed by.

      ‘the yacht made landfall under cover of darkness’
      • ‘As far as they can tell, they seem to be moving quickly and under cover of night, but they can find proof of little else.’
      • ‘He also saw three or four masked men scurry away from the bank under cover of the smoke.’
      • ‘We left the next morning under cover of fog to take a similar route back.’
      • ‘CNN said the Republican Guard were moving under cover of a sandstorm which has buffeted Iraq for the past day.’
      • ‘The hands of the authorities are strengthened by flights under cover of darkness.’
      • ‘Together they moved off, under cover of the leafy green boughs.’
      • ‘And those that are left are either in hiding, or slipped out of the city under cover of darkness.’
      • ‘Once they were installed, Mann would fly in under cover of darkness with the rest of the men.’
      • ‘She watched it as it quickly reversed direction and scampered back under cover of the trees.’
      • ‘Eventually we were ordered to withdraw to the river and tried to cross under cover of darkness.’
      1. 1.1While pretending to do.
        ‘Moran watched every move under cover of reading the newspaper’
        • ‘You abused them under cover of medical examination.’
  • under plain cover

    • In an envelope or parcel without any marks to identify the sender.

      • ‘All correspondence is sent under plain cover to an address of your choice.’
      • ‘Career Development Reports are mailed under plain cover and marked ‘STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL’.’
      • ‘All gift packs are sent under plain cover, free of charge by first class post.’
      • ‘Material was sent to their homes under plain cover.’
      • ‘Sales literature posted will be sent under plain cover and will only bear names and addresses on the outside.’
      • ‘We are also capable of delivering under plain cover.’
      • ‘We'll send the relevant unbranded product spec sheets under plain cover direct to your clients.’
      • ‘Same day courier delivery is under plain cover.’
      • ‘Should you successfully conclude a contract please send it to me under plain cover.’
      • ‘Any publications chosen will be posted under plain cover within three days.’
  • under separate cover

    • In a separate envelope.

      • ‘My colleague is responding to you under separate cover regarding your appendix to this letter.’
      • ‘The survey was included within a registrar's general mailing and not under separate cover.’
      • ‘I will send you a note of the liability under separate cover.’
      • ‘We shall be responding to this letter under separate cover in the next few days.’
      • ‘These maps are being issued at the same time under separate cover.’
      • ‘I'll post my predictions for the future under separate cover.’
      • ‘We will forward the appropriate document to you under separate cover.’
      • ‘Maps have also issued under separate cover to some 24,000 farmers who made changes to their land parcels.’
      • ‘The Examiner should transmit the form with a note specifying what documents will be forwarded later under separate cover.’
      • ‘I am aware that colleagues in the Department will be in contact with you under separate cover.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • cover something up

    • Try to hide the fact of illegal or illicit activity.

      ‘the prime minister was accused of trying to cover up the scandal’
      • ‘These injustices were covered up by the former Nationalist Party regime.’
      • ‘Such measures rather mean that old distortions are covered up while new ones are being created.’
      • ‘Abuse of steroids was rife, and it was covered up with implausible excuses.’
      • ‘Police believe the mistakes were covered up because admitting to the errors would leave them open to further scandal.’
      • ‘Activists contend that most deaths were covered up.’
      • ‘There will be a discrepancy in the police car surveillance videos if the arrest was covered up.’
      • ‘If nothing else, it might have quelled the widespread suspicion that the incident had been covered up.’
      • ‘Yes, she was murdered in London about seven years ago, and it was covered up by the government.’
      • ‘Dirty tricks are dirty tricks and that is why they are covered up.’
      • ‘What if I just turn myself in and try to strike a deal where my guilt is covered up in exchange for inside information?’
      • ‘We have a Prime Minister who is prepared to make sure that things are covered up.’
      • ‘There is no doubt, in my opinion, that the real reason for the crash has been covered up.’
      • ‘The response of ‘the establishment’ confirmed for some their suspicions that inconvenient truths would be covered up.’
      • ‘Many other episodes were covered up to protect him from the media.’
      • ‘Usually their proclivities are covered up or so widespread that it's a non-issue.’
      • ‘When you get a government investigation, things can be covered up and buried.’
      • ‘The crueler the camps became, the more fervently they were covered up.’
      • ‘Most of the resulting civilian detentions, torture and deaths are covered up.’
      • ‘Which was more shocking, that it happened or that it was covered up?’
      • ‘They fear the truth will be covered up and have criticised the Ministry for its handling of the investigation.’
      conceal, hide
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French covrir, from Latin cooperire, from co- (expressing intensive force) + operire ‘to cover’. The noun is partly a variant of covert.

Pronunciation

cover

/ˈkʌvə/