Idioms

Origin of cover

1200–50; Middle English coveren < Old French covrir < Latin cooperīre to cover completely, equivalent to co- co- + operīre to shut, close, cover (op-, apparently for ob- ob- + -erīre; see aperient)

Related forms

Synonym study

37, 38. Cover, 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as in darkness, in a wood, or behind something: The ground troops were left without cover when the air force was withdrawn.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 well-aimed artillary 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for take cover

cover

/ (ˈkʌvə) /

verb (mainly tr)


noun

See also cover-up

Derived Forms

coverable, adjectivecoverer, nouncoverless, adjective

Word Origin for cover

C13: from Old French covrir, from Latin cooperīre to cover completely, from operīre to cover over
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with take cover (1 of 2)

take cover

Seek protection, find a hiding place, as in It started to pour so we took cover under the trees, or He wanted to avoid the reporters so we said he could take cover in our summer cottage. This term uses cover in the sense of “shelter” or “concealment,” a usage dating from the 1400s.


Idioms and Phrases with take cover (2 of 2)

cover

In addition to the idioms beginning with cover

  • cover for
  • cover girl
  • cover ground
  • cover one's ass
  • cover one's tracks
  • cover story
  • cover the field
  • cover up

also see:

  • blow one's cover
  • break cover
  • judge a book by its cover
  • (cover a) multitude of sins
  • take cover
  • under cover

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.