- 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.
- Insurance. to insure against risk or loss.
- to shelter; protect; serve as a defense for.
- to be in line with by occupying a position directly before or behind.
- to 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.
- to 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.).
- (in short selling) to purchase securities or commodities in order to deliver them to the broker from whom they were borrowed.
- 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.
- Sports. to 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.
- (especially of a male animal) to copulate with.
- (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.
- to 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, especially for the purpose of obscuring an existing covering or of achieving a desired thickness and evenness: This paint is much too thin to cover.
- 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.
- Ecology. vegetation 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, especially 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.
- 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.
- Finance. funds to cover liability or secure against risk of loss.
- Music. cover version.
- Also called covering. Mathematics. a collection of sets having the property that a given set is contained in the union of the sets in the collection.
- cover up,
- to cover completely; enfold.
- to keep secret; conceal: She tried to cover up her part in the plot.
- blow one's cover, to divulge one's secret identity, especially inadvertently: The TV news story blew his carefully fabricated cover.
- break cover, to emerge, especially suddenly, from a place of concealment: The fox broke cover and the chase was on.
- cover one's/someone's ass, Slang: Vulgar. to take measures that will prevent oneself or another person from suffering blame, loss, harm, etc.
- take cover, to seek shelter or safety: The hikers took cover in a deserted cabin to escape the sudden storm.
- under cover,
- clandestinely; secretly: Arrangements for the escape were made under cover.
- within an envelope: The report will be mailed to you under separate cover.
Origin of cover
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- to place or spread something over so as to protect or conceal
- to provide with a covering; clothe
- to put a garment, esp a hat, on (the body or head)
- to extend over or lie thickly on the surface of; spreadsnow covered the fields
- to bring upon (oneself); invest (oneself) as if with a coveringcovered with shame
- (sometimes foll by up) to act as a screen or concealment for; hide from view
- military to protect (an individual, formation, or place) by taking up a position from which fire may be returned if those being protected are fired upon
- (also intr, often foll by for) to assume responsibility for (a person or thing)to cover for a colleague in his absence
- (intr; foll by for or up for) to provide an alibi (for)
- to have as one's territorythis salesman covers your area
- to travel overto cover three miles a day
- (tr) to have or place in the aim and within the range of (a firearm)
- to include or deal withhis talk covered all aspects of the subject
- (of an asset or income) to be sufficient to meet (a liability or expense)
- to insure against loss, risk, etc
- to provide for (loss, risk, etc) by insurance
- (also intr) finance to purchase (securities, etc) in order to meet contracts, esp short sales
- to deposit (an equivalent stake) in a bet or wager
- (also intr) to play a card higher in rank than (one played beforehand by another player)
- to act as reporter or photographer on (a news event, etc) for a newspaper or magazineto cover sports events
- sport to guard or protect (an opponent, team-mate, or area)
- music to record a cover version of
- (of a male animal, esp a horse) to copulate with (a female animal)
- (of a bird) to brood (eggs)
- anything that covers, spreads over, protects, or conceals
- woods or bushes providing shelter or a habitat for wild creatures
- a blanket used on a bed for warmth
- another word for bedspread
- finance liquid assets, reserves, or guaranteed income sufficient to discharge a liability, meet an expenditure, etc
- a pretext, disguise, or false identitythe thief sold brushes as a cover
- insurance another word for coverage (def. 3)
- an envelope or package for sending through the postunder plain cover
- an entire envelope that has been postmarked
- on cover(of a postage stamp) kept in this form by collectors
- an individual table setting, esp in a restaurant
- sport the guarding or protection of an opponent, team-mate, or area
- Also called: cover version a version by a different artist of a previously recorded musical item
- (often plural)the area more or less at right angles to the pitch on the off side and usually about halfway to the boundaryto field in the covers
- (as modifier)a cover drive by a batsman
- Also called: cover pointa fielder in such a position
- ecology the percentage of the ground surface covered by a given species of plant
- break cover (esp of game animals) to come out from a shelter or hiding place
- take cover to make for a place of safety or shelter
- under cover protected, concealed, or in secretunder cover of night
Word Origin and History for under cover
mid-12c., from Old French covrir (12c., Modern French couvrir) "to cover, protect, conceal, dissemble," from Late Latin coperire, from Latin cooperire "to cover over, overwhelm, bury," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + operire "to close, cover" (see weir). Related: Covered; covering. Military sense is from 1680s; newspaper sense first recorded 1893; use in football dates from 1907. Betting sense is 1857. OF horses, as a euphemism for "copulate" it dates from 1530s. Covered wagon attested from 1745.
early 13c., in compounds, from cover (v.). Meaning "recording of a song already recorded by another" is 1966. Cover girl is U.S. slang from 1915, shortening of magazine-cover girl.
Idioms and Phrases with under cover
Protected by a shelter, as in It began to pour but fortunately we were under cover. [c. 1400]
under cover of. Also, under the cover of. Hidden or protected by, as in They sneaked out under cover of darkness, or, as it was put in a sermon in 1751: “Presumption which loves to conceal itself under the cover of humility” (John Jortin, Sermons on Different Subjects).
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
- blow one's cover
- break cover
- judge a book by its cover
- (cover a) multitude of sins
- take cover
- under cover