|Origin:||covrir, from Latin cooperire, from co- ( CO-) + operire 'to close, cover'|
to put something over or be over something in order to hide, close, or protect it:
hide/protectalso cover up
Cover the pot and bake for an hour.
She wore a low-cut dress, partly covered by a thin shawl.
cover something with something
Dan covered his face with his hands.
if something covers a surface, it forms a layer over it:
Grey mould covered the walls.
Much of the country is covered by snow.
cover something with/in something
The bulletin board was covered with messages.
The eruption of the volcano covered states as far away as Montana in a fine layer of ash.
to include or deal with a particular subject or group of things:
a course covering business law
Are there any areas you feel are not covered adequately in the book?
'Exercise' is a word which covers a vast range of activities.
We need more time to cover so much ground (=include so many things).
pollutants that are not covered by the Kyoto agreement
to travel a particular distance:
They were hoping to cover 40 miles yesterday.
A leopard can cover a lot of ground very quickly.
to spread over an area:
The city covers 25 square miles.
to report the details of an event for a newspaper or a television or radio programme:
I'd just returned from covering the Cambodian war.
if a sum of money covers the cost of something, it is enough to pay for it:
The award should be enough to cover her tuition fees.
Airlines are raising fares to cover the rising costs of fuel.
if your insurance covers you or your possessions, it promises to pay you money if you have an accident, something is stolen etc:
Most policies cover accidental damage to pipes.
The treatment wasn't covered by her healthcare insurance.
cover somebody against/for something
Are we covered for theft?
cover somebody to do something
He thought he was covered to drive the vehicle.
to protect someone by being ready to shoot anyone who attacks them:
I'll make for the door - cover me, will you?
to aim a gun at a person or a place where people might be, in order to prevent them from moving or escaping:
He stepped into the doorway and swung the gun up to cover the corridor.
to stay close to a member of the opposing team or a part of the field in order to prevent your opponents from gaining points
to perform or record a song that was originally recorded by another artist:
They've covered several hits from the 1980s.
to make sure you can deal with any situation or problem so that nothing bad happens:
Parents are already stressed trying to cover the bases at home and at work.
13 also cover your back; cover your butt/ass American English
to do things in a way that will prevent people from blaming or criticizing you:
Doctors are concerned to cover themselves against charges of negligence.
He copied Stella in on the email just to cover his back.
to try to hide something you have done so that other people do not find out:
He started to destroy documents to cover his tracks.
cover for somebodyphrasal verb
to do the work that someone else usually does, because they are not there:
Who's covering for you while you're away?
to prevent someone from getting into trouble by lying for them, especially about where they are or what they are doing
cover something ↔ overphrasal verb
The female lays a single egg and covers it over.
cover upphrasal verb
to put something over something else so that it cannot be seen:
Her legs were so swollen she had to cover them up.
to prevent people from discovering mistakes or unpleasant facts [↪ whitewash]: ➔ cover-up
cover something ↔ up
The affair was covered up and never reached the papers.
Mum's worried, but she covers it up by joking.
to protect someone by hiding unpleasant facts about them:
They covered up for Kirk by refusing to answer any questions.
to put clothes, blankets etc over yourself in order to protect or hide your body, or to keep yourself warm:
Cover up, or stay out of the sun.
cover yourself up
Hastily, she covered herself up with the towel.