[~ + object] to be or serve as a covering for; extend over: Snow covered the fields.
to place something upon, as for protection, concealment, or warmth:[~ + object]She covered the baby with a blanket.
to protect or conceal (the head, body, etc.) with clothes, etc.; wrap:[~ + object]She covered her shoulders with a shawl.
[~ + object] to bring upon (oneself ): covered himself with honors.
to spread on or over; put over the surface of; coat:[~ + object]to cover bread with honey.
[~ + object] to deal with; apply to: The new rules cover working conditions.
[~ + object] to deal with (a subject); have (something) as the subject matter: The book covers 18th-century English history.
[~ + object] to be enough to meet or to be able to pay for (a charge, etc.): The loan is to cover my losses.
Journalism[~ + object] to act as a reporter of (an event, etc.):The news team covered the hostage crisis for that magazine.
Business to insure against risk or loss:[~ + object]This policy covers you against everything.
Military to protect or guard (a fellow soldier, etc.) during combat by taking a position from which the enemy can be fired upon:[~ + object]His fighter squadron covered the bombers on their run over enemy territory.
to aim at, as with a pistol:[~ + object]Don't move; you're covered.
to take temporary charge of or responsibility for in place of another: [~ + for + object]Cover for me at the office while I go to the dentist.[~ + object]I'll cover her classes while she's sick.
to hide the action of another by providing an alibi or by acting in the other's place:[~ + for + object]I covered for her by telling the police she was with me.
to achieve or accomplish (a distance) traveled over; pass or travel over:[~ + object]We covered about ten miles hiking.
to spread over; occupy; take up:[not: be + ~-ing; ~ + object]The territory covers an area the size of North Dakota.
to cover completely; enfold: [~ + up + object]She covered up the sleeping children with a blanket.[~ + object + up]She covered them up with warm blankets.
to keep (something) secret: [no object]One of the conspirators didn't want to cover up.[~ + up + for + object]Another one may have tried to cover up for his superior.[~ + up + object]The general couldn't cover up everything that had happened.[~ + object + up]His mistress tried to cover everything up but had to tell the truth.
something that covers, such as the lid of a container or the casing of a book:[countable]a book cover.
a blanket, quilt, or the like:[plural; the + ~]He threw off the covers.
protection; shelter:[uncountable]The soldiers searched frantically for cover.
anything that hides; concealment:[uncountable]under cover of darkness.
a false or assumed identity or occupation that masks the real one:[countable]My cover was trade negotiator, but in fact I was a spy.
to be or serve as a covering for; extend over; rest on the surface of:Snow covered the fields.
to place something over or upon, as for protection, concealment, or warmth.
to provide with a covering or top:Cover the pot with a lid.
to protect or conceal (the body, head, etc.) with clothes, a hat, etc; wrap.
to bring upon (oneself ):He covered himself with glory by his exploits.
to hide from view; screen.
to spread on or over; apply to:to cover bread with honey.
to put all over the surface of:to cover a wall with paint.
to include, deal with, or provide for; address:The rules cover working conditions.
to suffice to defray or meet (a charge, expense, etc.):Ten dollars should cover my expenses.
to offset (an outlay, loss, liability, etc.).
to achieve in distance traversed; pass or travel over:We covered 600 miles a day on our trip.
to act as a reporter or reviewer of (an event, a field of interest, a performance, etc.); have as an assignment:She covers sports for the paper.
to publish or broadcast a report or reports of (a news item, a series of related events, etc.):The press covered the trial in great detail.
to pass or rise over and surmount or envelop:The river covered the town during the flood.
Business[Insurance.]to insure against risk or loss.
to shelter; protect; serve as a defense for.
Militaryto be in line with by occupying a position directly before or behind.
Militaryto protect (a soldier, force, or military position) during an expected period of ground combat by taking a position from which any hostile troops can be fired upon.
to take temporary charge of or responsibility for in place of another:Please cover my phone while I'm out to lunch.
to extend over; comprise:The book covers 18th-century England.
to be assigned to or responsible for, as a territory or field of endeavor:We have two sales representatives covering the Southwest.
to aim at, as with a pistol.
to have within range, as a fortress does adjacent territory.
Gamesto play a card higher than (the one led or previously played in the round).
to deposit the equivalent of (money deposited), as in wagering.
to accept the conditions of (a bet, wager, etc.).
Business(in short selling) to purchase securities or commodities in order to deliver them to the broker from whom they were borrowed.
Sport[Baseball.]to take a position close to or at (a base) so as to catch a ball thrown to the base:The shortstop covered second on the attempted steal.
Sportto guard (an opponent on offense) so as to prevent him or her from scoring or carrying out his or her assignment:to cover a potential pass receiver.
Animal Behavior(esp. of a male animal) to copulate with.
Animal Behavior(of a hen) to brood or sit on (eggs or chicks).
[Informal.]to serve as a substitute for someone who is absent:We cover for the receptionist during lunch hour.
to hide the wrongful or embarrassing action of another by providing an alibi or acting in the other's place:They covered for him when he missed roll call.
Gamesto play a card higher than the one led or previously played in the round:She led the eight and I covered with the jack.
to spread over an area or surface, esp. for the purpose of obscuring an existing covering or of achieving a desired thickness and evenness:This paint is much too thin to cover.
Idiomscover one's ass,Slang (vulgar). to take measures that will prevent one from suffering blame, loss, harm, etc.
to cover completely; enfold.
to keep secret; conceal:She tried to cover up her part in the plot.
something that covers, as the lid of a container or the binding of a book.
a blanket, quilt, or the like:Put another cover on the bed.
protection; shelter; concealment.
anything that veils, screens, or shuts from sight:under cover of darkness.
woods, underbrush, etc., serving to shelter and conceal wild animals or game; a covert.
Ecologyvegetation that serves to protect or conceal animals, such as birds, from excessive sunlight, from drying, or from predators.
a set of eating utensils and the like, as plate, knife, fork, and napkin, placed for each person at a table.
an assumed identity, occupation, or business that masks the true or real one:His job at the embassy was a cover for his work as a spy.
a covering of snow, esp. when suitable for skiing.
a pretense; feigning.
a person who substitutes for another or stands ready to substitute if needed:She was hired as a cover for six roles at the opera house.
See cover charge.
an envelope or outer wrapping for mail.
a letter folded so that the address may be placed on the outside and the missive mailed.
Business[Finance.]funds to cover liability or secure against risk of loss.
Music, Music and DanceSee cover version.
MathematicsAlso called covering. a collection of sets having the property that a given set is contained in the union of the sets in the collection.
Idiomsblow one's cover, to divulge one's secret identity, esp. inadvertently:The TV news story blew his carefully fabricated cover.
Idiomsbreak cover, to emerge, esp. suddenly, from a place of concealment:The fox broke cover and the chase was on.
Idiomstake cover, to seek shelter or safety:The hikers took cover in a deserted cabin to escape the sudden storm.
clandestinely; secretly:Arrangements for the escape were made under cover.
within an envelope:The report will be mailed to you under separate cover.
cov′er•a•ble,adj. cov′er•er,n. cov′er•less,adj.
Latin cooperīre to cover completely, equivalent. to co-co- + operīre to shut, close, cover (op-, apparently for ob-ob- + -erīre; see aperient)
Old French covrir
Middle English coveren 1200–50
2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged overlay, overspread, envelop, enwrap.
6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged cloak, conceal.
11.See corresponding entry in Unabridged counterbalance, compensate for.
39, 40.See corresponding entry in UnabridgedCover,protection,screen,shelter mean a defense against harm or danger and a provision for safety. The main idea in cover is that of concealment, as in darkness, in a wood, or behind something:The ground troops were left without cover when the air force was withdrawn.Screen refers especially to something behind which one can hide:A heavy fire formed a screen for ground operations.Protection and shelter emphasize the idea of a guard or defense, a shield against injury or death. A protection is any such shield:In World War II, an air cover of airplanes served as a protection for troops.A shelter is something that covers over and acts as a place of refuge:An abandoned monastery acted as a shelter.