One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1literary mass noun Protective or concealing covering.
- ‘You must have indeed shed a silent tear and perhaps given a bit of help to those who crave for your covertures.’
- ‘Secondly, it allows us to view a world beyond coverture and crime which has consumed so much scholarly energy in recent years.’
- ‘They attacked suddenly and skilfully using natural covertures, destroy our positions one after another by the direct fire.’
- ‘With a lucid discussion of the constraints of coverture, Cott undercuts such symbolism and outlines the ironies which underlay.’
historical The legal status of a married woman, considered to be under her husband's protection and authority.
- ‘After all, it is impossible to understand the doctrine of coverture.’
- ‘Under coverture a married woman could not sue or be sued unless her husband was party to the suit.’
- ‘Feminist reformers also challenged coverture by invoking equality.’
- ‘A husband could make a special legal claim under coverture if his wife was injured in an accident.’
- ‘With few exceptions, coverture is now dead and gone.’
Middle English (originally denoting a coverlet or garment): from Old French, from covrir ‘to cover’.
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