Definition of cover in US English:

cover

verb

[with object]
  • 1Put something such as a cloth or lid on top of or in front of (something) in order to protect or conceal it.

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

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

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

    ‘there are grants to cover the cost of materials for loft insulation’
    • ‘Don't spend on head count and overhead and hope you can make enough money to cover your costs.’
    • ‘Hopefully, with two and a half days work last week I made enough money to cover my costs.’
    • ‘This way they earn enough money to cover most of the cost of both steers.’
    • ‘I enquired if it covered Room Service, ready to dole out the extra.’
    • ‘Those expenditures will cover the cost of new processes and equipment in the upgrading area.’
    • ‘The entrance fee barely covered costs but the club earned handsomely from drink sales.’
    • ‘When wages barely cover living costs, the working classes cannot fund the whims and fancies of politicians forever.’
    • ‘Despite this huge increase in funding, there is still not enough money to cover everyone seeking help.’
    • ‘The department believes that the fees cover the true costs of administration.’
    • ‘Residential taxes don't cover the city's costs of servicing communities.’
    • ‘The handling fee barely covers the cost of packing materials and the insane cost of the credit card transaction.’
    • ‘The money will cover the costs of planting, maintaining and protecting the new trees.’
    • ‘It would not arise at all if the sum borrowed covered those costs.’
    • ‘The money will cover the implementation cost of bulk and link services until June 2005.’
    • ‘While the sinking fund may not cover the full cost of such an operation, it can take the sting out of its tail.’
    • ‘The federal contribution covers the remaining infrastructure costs, which total $40.2 million.’
    • ‘The allowance covers workers who provide services to Olympic venues or Olympic live sites.’
    • ‘The festival fees help cover the cost of a truck and gasoline, and volunteers drive around to collect the refuse.’
    • ‘The additional fees help cover the cost of the work station, but also should increase the income of the teacher.’
    • ‘Within a few hours they had raised enough money between them to cover the £100 cost of its contents.’
    • ‘However, the fee barely covers the real cost of tuition.’
    • ‘This fee helps cover the cost of media and the time involved in identifying the causal agent.’
    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’
      • ‘Taxpayers who itemize can deduct disaster losses not covered by insurance or federal aid.’
      • ‘If your business premises is flooded this year, the insurance would cover you for loss of turnover next year.’
      • ‘They are not always covered by insurance, as they are not labeled as approved for use by pregnant women.’
      • ‘Your insurer will not cover you for accidents.’
      • ‘Many landowners require that pilots flying on their land be covered by liability insurance.’
      • ‘Each state will determine if these services will be covered by Medicaid.’
      • ‘But the people who have all those things would be most likely to be covered by insurance.’
      • ‘Many insurers will still cover you for existing conditions, providing you are not travelling against your doctor's advice.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, hearing aids are often not covered by health insurance companies.’
      • ‘The drug will be covered by health insurance for the first time under a new law that went into effect in March.’
      • ‘We are still the only industrial nation whose citizens are not all covered by health insurance.’
      • ‘If you have the surgery only to improve your appearance, it might not be covered by insurance.’
      • ‘He made no effort to find another automobile insurer that would cover Stephanie.’
      • ‘Standard risks will continue to be covered by normal insurance cover.’
      • ‘An example is cosmetic services, typically not covered by third-party payers.’
      • ‘Some services have become more available to patients; others are not covered by health insurance.’
      • ‘One complication here is that you may be covered by insurance for some situations.’
      • ‘The solutions may not be covered by your insurance, but your well-being is worth it.’
      • ‘Beyond that, you can still get care from an outside source, although it may not be covered by your insurance.’
      • ‘Kyra is involved in an experimental therapy that isn't covered by insurance.’
      • ‘Chimney fire damage and repair normally is covered by homeowner insurance policies.’
      • ‘Never bill an insurer for a service that is covered instead of the treatment actually provided.’
      insure, protect, secure, underwrite, provide insurance for, assure, indemnify
      View synonyms
    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 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.’
      • ‘The company is covering itself against longer term weaknesses.’
      • ‘She said it was just a way of the council covering itself so it was not responsible for not providing enough water pressure.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In addition to covering yourself and your firm from liability, training classes create another revenue source.’
      • ‘He's like a guy who spills soup on himself and then thinks he's covering himself by saying, ‘I meant to do that.’’
      • ‘Many Irish firms have put money aside to cover themselves against any future claims.’
      • ‘His cronies have to think about covering themselves in case he falls from power.’
      • ‘In retrospect, these were classic weasel words used routinely by politicians covering themselves.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Media have difficulty covering themselves when the owners' financial interests are seriously in play.’
  • 5Disguise the sound or fact of (something) with another sound or action.

    ‘Louise laughed to cover her embarrassment’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She used her hand to rub her eyes to make it seem like they were itchy, but in fact she was covering the tears.’
    • ‘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 sound of running water covered any and all other noises that day.’
    • ‘He laughed, covering the sudden feeling of stupidity.’
    • ‘Do the Rebels intend a nocturnal attack or is this shooting supposed to cover up their retreat?’
    • ‘The noise level would pick up however, just enough to cover the rain of the silent bombs.’
    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’
      • ‘And what charges will you make against a president who so obviously covered for his consigliere all this time?’
      • ‘Like today, I almost got punished for covering for Matt.’
      • ‘An appropriate punishment for having covered for the president would have been four more years of cleaning up after him.’
      • ‘Fortunately, his landlady's daughter has a crush on her ‘true gentleman’ and covers for 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.’
      • ‘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
      View synonyms
    2. 5.2cover forno object Temporarily take over the job of (a colleague) in their absence.
      ‘during August ministers cover for other ministers’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are arguing for a ballot to refuse to cover for absences of longer than one day to unify the action.’
      • ‘Two deputy head teachers at the school in Burnley Road will cover for Mr Thomas until a replacement is appointed.’
      • ‘Most people are consumed with the more obvious issues, such as covering for their absences at work and at home.’
      • ‘Johnson's bat covered for Jeter's absence almost perfectly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Clearly, this eases the pressure on colleagues who have had to cover for them during their absence and saves the council money.’
      • ‘Pryce started Friday's 46-6 victory covering for an absent colleague, injured full back Withers.’
      • ‘In terms of replacements to cover for the injured players, Sedgley could do a lot worse than follow Orrell's example.’
      • ‘Over the next two years it will limit teachers to spending only 38 hours a year covering for absent colleagues.’
      • ‘I called in a few favours, got some colleagues to clear some of my paperwork and to cover for me, and left the office.’
      • ‘In 2001 teachers in Doncaster and London refused to cover for absences any longer than three days.’
      • ‘There is the matter of the other employees who may end up covering for absent colleagues’
      • ‘The story effectively starts when his partner covers for Gibson's absence one day.’
      • ‘There is currently an undisclosed number of such teachers brought in to cover for absent colleagues on any given day.’
      • ‘All lessons are being covered either by supply teachers or staff covering for colleagues.’
      • ‘He was covering for a colleague when the attack happened.’
      • ‘Computers and teaching assistants are set to replace teachers in covering for staff when they are off work.’
      • ‘The illness, the covering for sick colleagues, the boredom and the hunger, meant nerves were always at full stretch.’
      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
      View synonyms
  • 6Aim a gun at (someone) in order to prevent them from moving or escaping.

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

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Molony wants stallion owners to reduce the number of mares each sire covers and to be more selective.’
  • 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’
    • ‘A card fits if it is next in rank above the card it covers (irrespective of suit).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The threes are themselves eligible cards, so one of them covers the other, resulting in a score of 53.’

noun

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

    ‘a seat cover’
    • ‘The casing includes a circular area on the front protected by an acrylic cover.’
    • ‘The wind blew the row cover off the seed bed leaving the tender young radishes exposed to the flies.’
    • ‘They've been asking a lot of questions about these seat covers.’
    • ‘‘If we put covers on before it's totally thawed out, the covers basically protect the frost,’ he said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can customize these buttons by sliding your own labels under the removable clear plastic covers.’
    • ‘For example, fabric row covers can protect low-growing food crops, such as cabbage or squash.’
    • ‘This cover protects the soil from raindrop impact, reducing erosion and crusting of the soil.’
    • ‘Many of them are so tall that they are hidden by dense cloud cover for days at a time.’
    • ‘There is a dense cloud cover, and then it rains.’
    • ‘With either system, deep rubber floormats and coated vinyl seat covers are included to protect the interior from muddy riders.’
    • ‘To our right, carpets of flowers reach up to a thick cloud cover.’
    • ‘When these guys brandished guns on their album covers you knew they weren't joking.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Before displaying the car in public, I washed it, painted over major scratches and put fresh covers on the seats.’
    • ‘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 unit is fantastic for shirts, duvet covers and bedspreads and uses only 2.4 feet of space.’
    • ‘Never store leather in plastic bags or other nonporous covers or containers.’
    • ‘In fact, the only thing that isn't going to work is the duvet cover.’
    • ‘The heating elements are very well protected and the cover is washable.’
    • ‘The spherical covers not only protect the antenna but also hide which direction it is pointing in.’
    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 ground floor windows have been sealed with fitted steel covers.’
      • ‘The plants are placed in the pit, the pots are mulched in and the cover sealed down.’
      • ‘When I got home, I discovered the problem - the memory card cover had broken off.’
      • ‘Then she carefully fitted the other side of the silver cover and sealed both sides together with her finger.’
      • ‘Behind the battery cover, your memory cards are protected from pocket fluff.’
      • ‘Try a plastic bag over the storm cover to protect it from rain and sand.’
      • ‘A third hole made in the cover and plugged with a rubber septum was used for watering.’
      • ‘Hair from each subject was collected in a plastic container with a cover.’
      • ‘Light shone through the holes in the manhole covers.’
      • ‘Three years ago, three serious offenders escaped after throwing a loose manhole cover through a fence during exercise.’
      • ‘Manhole covers have been sealed, sight-lines checked and staff vetted.’
      • ‘A small recess along the top lip of the can ensures a tight seal with the upper cover.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The cover to the hole from the sewers began to twitch, then was lifted and set aside by pale hands.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His rescue began when a neighbor heard him whimpering lifted a manhole cover and peered into the storm drain.’
    2. 1.2 A thick protective outer part or page of a book or magazine.
      ‘her life was captured between hard covers in her 1986 autobiography’
      • ‘The report, bearing the Pentagon seal on its cover, was posted two weeks ago on a US Department of Defense web site.’
      • ‘The young man made his way as illustrator for book covers and magazines.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Your cover story revealed many unknown facts about the most beautiful monument on earth.’
      • ‘Her commercial work includes newspaper and magazine features and book covers.’
      • ‘Appearing on magazine covers - that's what she's for.’
      • ‘Almost all of his work from then on was for magazine covers and book illustrations.’
      • ‘You cannot always judge a book by the cover, title page, or table of contents.’
      • ‘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'm just trying to get one more back cover blurb to assure bestseller status.’
      • ‘I was asked to appear on covers of art magazines I had once worshipped.’
      • ‘He was reading a book with a worn cover and yellow pages and was dressed in a normal shirt, jeans and a lab coat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She will not be indulging in either Botox or a facelift for the cover photo shoot.’
      • ‘She has been gracing covers of magazines everywhere and appearing on numerous talks shows.’
      • ‘She wrote several books, appeared in the theater and on magazine covers.’
      binding, case
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Philately A card or envelope that has traveled through the mail or that contains postal markings.
      • ‘Aspects of U.S. postal history are illustrated by covers, rates and postal markings.’
      • ‘Thousands of stamps and covers not only from India but also from various countries are on display.’
      • ‘Coverage is for all types of philatelic property, stamps, postal history, first day and other covers.’
    4. 1.4the covers Bedclothes.
      ‘she burrowed down beneath the covers’
      • ‘Then she would pile on her warmest blankets and quilts and cuddle up beneath the covers until she was warm.’
      • ‘She curled up into a ball beneath the covers, hugging her knees to her chest.’
      • ‘He put the water back, and wriggled under the covers to continue wallowing in his own self-pity.’
      • ‘It's very important you don't let your baby's head get covered by the duvet, covers or pillow.’
      • ‘Lying down I threw the covers over my head and squeezed my eyes shut.’
      • ‘They are blanketed with dull, drab covers that have holes burned right through them in some areas.’
      • ‘She grinned as I inconspicuously grimaced and longed to duck beneath the covers.’
      • ‘Just forget about it, " I mumbled pulling the covers over my head.’
      • ‘He sat up in his bed without a shirt on and covers concealing the lower half of his body.’
      • ‘In my bed, safe beneath the covers and surrounded by pillows, I watched the moon like usual.’
      • ‘Exhausted, he climbed into bed, pulling the thin covers up to his chin, then over his head.’
      • ‘As I slipped beneath the covers, I continued to think about what I should do with Landon.’
      • ‘And they crawl upon my bed, across my body, beneath the covers, inside my pajamas.’
      • ‘Tyler didn't say anything else but went back into the bedroom and dived under the already pulled back covers.’
      • ‘I settled down beneath the covers, sighing contently.’
      • ‘I felt him at my back, his arm over my side beneath the covers, reaching into the sheet tied around me.’
      • ‘They were under the covers now to protect themselves from the chill in the air.’
      • ‘I lay my head back on my pillow and pulled the covers back on top of me, trying desperately to get back to sleep…’
      • ‘The bed was not made, and there was dirt all inside the covers and sheets of the bed.’
      • ‘She slips in, glances around the room, gaze lingering on my bed and the pile of pillows concealed by the covers.’
      bedclothes, bedding, sheets, blankets, linen
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5Ecology 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.’
      • ‘In South Lakeland, experts estimate that around five per cent of the total tree cover has been destroyed by the storms.’
      • ‘Often what seems like adequate grass cover does not support satisfactory levels of gain.’
      • ‘His crop was planted over a wide area in small patches with a fair amount of tree cover.’
      • ‘One is to get adequate ground cover to avoid erosion from wind and water.’
      • ‘Canopy cover strongly suppressed the transpiration activity in the shoots.’
      • ‘Vegetation cover dissipates the kinetic energy of the rain drops before reaching to ground surface.’
      • ‘Irrigation before planting may work better than trying to irrigate the cover crop up.’
  • 2Physical shelter or protection sought by people in danger.

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

    • ‘And when we would do funk covers people said we sounded like Jamiroquai, which I could sort of see.’
    • ‘And no, I don't like the cover version of It's My Life.’
    • ‘Is it, therefore, a coincidence that their biggest hit so far is essentially a cover version; albeit a cheeky one?’
    • ‘Some big star should snap it up for a cover version.’
    • ‘One of my favourite internet tunes from last year now has a cover version.’
    • ‘What was kind of fun to watch was when they did cover songs from the parent's of their fans generation.’
    • ‘I remember the Sixties covers bands that were fixtures at clubs across the North West.’
    • ‘The song is a cover of the 1980's teen dirge.’
    • ‘The songs are a fine collection of self composed numbers and splendid cover versions.’
    • ‘Yes, I always like to do cover songs when my band acts on stage.’
    • ‘Do you have a favorite cover version of one of your songs?’
    • ‘Sometimes the cover version is done by an artist as a loving homage to a performer they admire.’
    • ‘It is a compilation of Beatles cover songs by artists that are relatively unknown.’
    • ‘Another cover version drew a more mixed response from both these listeners, however.’
    • ‘A tired old boy band singing a cover version of a song that was rubbish anyway?’
    • ‘Currently on repeat play, however, is a very bizarre cover version of the aforementioned song.’
    • ‘Or maybe it's just a cheesy cover version and I'm getting sentimental as our departure looms.’
    • ‘Disappointing cover version aside this is quite an accomplished album that won't disappoint.’
    • ‘Good, bad or just plain wrong, If I see a cover version of a song I know, I have to have it.’
  • 4A place setting at a table in a restaurant.

    • ‘Slightly smaller, with about 40 covers, the restaurant will continue to produce his distinctive cuisine.’
    • ‘The restaurant had covers of 110 and I was the senior wine waiter.’
    • ‘In his first week of trading alone, he did 540 covers, and the restaurant received a Michelin star last month.’
    • ‘When the chance came to open my restaurant with just 40 covers around the corner, I knew I had to go for it.’
  • 5

    short for cover charge

Phrases

  • break cover

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

      • ‘You and a few others break cover, sprinting up the beach as if hell itself had you in it's sight.’
      • ‘I saw a lone soldier break cover and run across to a ferry or barge moored on the bank of the river Po.’
      • ‘We broke cover and fought our way towards the school house.’
  • cover one's ass

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

      ‘I like to cover my ass when I make big generalizations’
      • ‘The politics of precaution, of covering your back rather than putting forward daring ideas, would dominate.’
      • ‘If Ashcroft was sane, he'd realize it's time to cover his ass by farming this out.’
      • ‘Young people should realize that he will not hesitate to put their lives on the line to cover his ass.’
      • ‘He is positioning himself for the leadership battle, and covering his back by allying with the obvious successor.’
      • ‘If that's not the sign of a man covering his ass, I don't know what is.’
      • ‘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 one's position

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

      • ‘When you think the danger has passed, you can cover your position.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Importers think the same way, so they do not feel the need to cover their position by booking forward contracts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So the trader covers his position and takes his profits to move on to the next stock on his list.’
  • cover one's tracks

    • Conceal evidence of what one has done.

      • ‘You may think that you can cover your tracks and hide what you've been doing.’
      • ‘He covers his tracks well, and he is always very vague about what he does for a living.’
      • ‘Belle had to find an out of the way place to hide, covering her tracks along the way.’
      • ‘Derek was a career criminal who planned his moves meticulously and covered his tracks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Since this is an artist who defiantly covers his tracks, this book will come as a revelation to many.’
      • ‘Through a gruelling trial Gill lied and attempted to cover his tracks despite the evidence stacked against him.’
      • ‘As Glass resorts to desperate measures in an attempt to cover his tracks, he simply digs himself even deeper into a hole.’
      • ‘Harrison, with Ashbury's help, manufactures evidence in hopes of covering his tracks.’
      • ‘The officials covered their tracks by using computer passwords of their unsuspecting colleagues.’
  • cover the waterfront

    • informal Include a wide range of things; 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.’
      • ‘The influence of cable news is - it covers the waterfront.’
      • ‘We need to and can cover the waterfront without being ghettoized.’
      • ‘A symposium will seek to cover the waterfront of issues that bear upon modern Tamil drama.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Here are three techniques that cover the waterfront from easy to expert.’
      • ‘I plead guilty to the charge that a short essay did not cover the waterfront.’
      • ‘A college president has to cover the waterfront, not just one discipline.’
      • ‘The book contains 500 poems from American and British poets, covering the waterfront from T.S. Eliot to Maya Angelou.’
      • ‘A former correspondent and editor covers the waterfront of problems that afflict higher education.’
  • from cover to cover

    • From beginning to end of a book or magazine.

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

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

      ‘if the bombing starts, take cover in the basement’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sam takes cover and ducks behind a support post.’
      • ‘Instinctively, he ducked and rolled out of the way, taking cover behind a Spanish cabinet.’
      • ‘Spectators take cover under colourful umbrellas or in makeshift tents to protect themselves from the blistering sun.’
      • ‘When you hear the air attack warning, you and your family must take cover at once.’
      • ‘Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took cover multiple times in protected areas.’
      • ‘Many of them ran and took cover as gun shots rang out.’
      skulk, loiter, lie in wait, lie low, hide, conceal oneself, take cover, keep out of sight
      View synonyms
  • under cover of

    • 1Concealed by.

      ‘the yacht made landfall under cover of darkness’
      • ‘He also saw three or four masked men scurry away from the bank under cover of the smoke.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She watched it as it quickly reversed direction and scampered back under cover of the trees.’
      • ‘The hands of the authorities are strengthened by flights under cover of darkness.’
      • ‘Once they were installed, Mann would fly in under cover of darkness with the rest of the men.’
      • ‘CNN said the Republican Guard were moving under cover of a sandstorm which has buffeted Iraq for the past day.’
      • ‘We left the next morning under cover of fog to take a similar route back.’
      • ‘Together they moved off, under cover of the leafy green boughs.’
      • ‘Eventually we were ordered to withdraw to the river and tried to cross under cover of darkness.’
      • ‘And those that are left are either in hiding, or slipped out of the city 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.

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

    • In a separate envelope.

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

    • Deal with something thoroughly.

      ‘for the prospective homebuilder, this book covers all bases’
      ‘if you meet these basic requirements, you 'll cover all bases’
      • ‘It seemed to cover all bases although I was surprised that the court case was glossed over so quickly.’
      • ‘A book with a tripartite title may be said to cover all bases, and it does just that.’
      • ‘The museum's approach to Ancient Egyptian culture attempts to cover all bases, but falls short of doing this.’
      • ‘In covering all bases the film gives us an openhanded view of the corporation's frightening grasp on our lives.’
      • ‘As befits Colonial Williamsburg, the present large book about its costume collection covers all bases.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • cover something up

    • 1Put something on, over, or around something, especially in order to conceal or disguise it.

      • ‘I cover it up with concealer amateurishly, hoping no one will look there long enough to notice the messy make-up.’
      • ‘People do not cover things up, unless there is something to conceal.’
      • ‘He was not able to carry out his crimes of concealment and cover up.’
      • ‘I personally think that's partly due to the fact that you barely even see your skin during the winter - you're always covering it up!’
      • ‘And the petals unfurl, one by one, covering it up, hiding it, shielding it, until it is invisible.’
      • ‘Pichugin covered the drawing up with a piece of white board and hid it in his studio, where it remained for 70 years.’
      • ‘I've seen the cuts they try to cover them up with sweat bands or long-sleeved shirts.’
      • ‘One of them goes, ‘I told you to cover that hole up.’’
      • ‘They covered it up with some awnings and some tarps.’
      1. 1.1Try to hide or deny the fact of an illegal or illicit action or activity.
        • ‘After all, no one is better than the tobacco industry at covering things up and hiding financial dealings.’
        • ‘But I didn't mean it, and you should believe me despite the fact that I lied earlier to cover it up.’
        • ‘They are well aware of it, and they're covering it up.’
        • ‘And then when they appear as though they are covering it up, it makes you suspicious that it's all true.’
        • ‘For centuries a conspiracy of silence and shame has covered it up, but now we know the facts.’
        • ‘We're far less racist and cruel and we do actually investigate hate crimes now, not just cover them up.’
        • ‘There was always speculation that it might be the Ku Klux Klan and they were covering it up.’
        • ‘Hooliganism is still a problem in this country however much the FA may like to cover it up the simple fact is that it still exists.’
        • ‘Are they covering something up, or just trying to be discrete?’
        • ‘And he isn't apologizing, to the country, for letting the torture happen, or for covering it up.’
        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

/ˈkəvər//ˈkəvər/