cover

verb
cov·​er | \ ˈkə-vər How to pronounce cover (audio) \
covered; covering\ ˈkəv-​riŋ How to pronounce covering (audio) , ˈkə-​və-​ \

Definition of cover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to guard from attack
b(1) : to have within the range of one's guns : command The ships were covering approaches to the harbor.
(2) : to hold within range of an aimed firearm The deputy covered the sheriff who was apprehending the suspect.
c(1) : to afford protection or security to : insure a policy covering the traveler in all kinds of accidents
(2) : to afford protection against or compensation (see compensation sense 2) for a policy covering loss by fire
d(1) : to guard (an opponent) in order to obstruct a play a linebacker assigned to cover the tight end
(2) : to be in position to receive a throw to (a base in baseball) The shortstop was covering second.
e(1) : to make provision for (a demand or charge) by means of a reserve or deposit Your balance is insufficient to cover the check.
(2) : to maintain a check on especially by patrolling motorcycle police covering the highways
(3) : to protect by contrivance or expedient
2a : to hide from sight or knowledge : conceal cover up a scandal
b : to lie over : envelop a blanket covering her legs
3 : to lay or spread something over : overlay Cover the seedbed with straw.
4a : to spread over Snow covered the hills.
b : to appear here and there on the surface of a region covered with lakes
5 : to place or set a cover or covering over Cover the pot.
6a : to copulate with (a female animal) a horse covers a mare
b : to sit on and incubate (eggs)
7 : to invest with a large or excessive amount of something covered herself with glory
8 : to play a higher-ranking card on (a previously played card)
9 : to have sufficient scope to include or take into account an examination covering a full year's work
10 : to deal with : treat material covered in the first chapter
11a : to have as one's territory or field of activity One sales rep covers the whole state.
b : to report news about reporters covering the campaign
12 : to pass over : traverse Tthe hikers covered 12 miles that day.
13 : to defray the cost of cover expenses
14 : to place one's stake in equal jeopardy with in a bet
15 : to buy securities or commodities for delivery against (an earlier short sale)
16 : to record or perform a cover of (a song)

intransitive verb

1 : to conceal something illicit, blameworthy, or embarrassing from notice usually used with up cover up for a careless coworker
2 : to act as a substitute or replacement during an absence a stand-in covering for an injured star
cover one's tracks
: to conceal traces in order to elude pursuers or escape detection
cover the ground or cover ground
: to deal with a subject or assignment in a particular manner The new book covers a lot of ground.

cover

noun, often attributive

Definition of cover (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that protects, shelters, or guards: such as
a : natural shelter for an animal also : the factors that provide such shelter
b(1) : a position or situation affording protection from enemy fire
(2) : the protection offered by airplanes in tactical support of a military operation
c British : coverage sense 1a
2 : something that is placed over or about another thing:
a : lid, top
b : a binding or case for a book or the analogous part of a magazine also : the front or back of such a binding
c : an overlay or outer layer especially for protection a mattress cover
d : a tablecloth and the other table accessories
f : roof
g : a cloth used on a bed for warmth or for decoration usually used in plural lying under the covers
h : something (such as vegetation or snow) that covers the ground
i : the extent to which clouds obscure the sky
3a : something that conceals or obscures under cover of darkness
b : a masking device : pretext The project was a cover for intelligence operations.
4 : an envelope or wrapper for mail
5 : one who substitutes for another during an absence
6 : a recording or performance of a song previously recorded by another performer
under cover
1 : in an envelope or wrapper
2 : under concealment : in secret

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Other Words from cover

Verb

coverable \ ˈkəv-​rə-​bəl How to pronounce coverable (audio) , ˈkə-​və-​ \ adjective
coverer \ ˈkə-​vər-​ər How to pronounce coverer (audio) \ noun

Noun

coverless \ ˈkə-​vər-​ləs How to pronounce coverless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for cover

Synonyms: Verb

fill in, pinch-hit, stand in, step in, sub, substitute, take over

Synonyms: Noun

cap, lid, top

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Examples of cover in a Sentence

Verb

The gardener covered the soil with mulch. The furniture had been covered in a protective cloth. We covered the stains on the wall with a fresh coat of paint. You should cover your mouth when you cough. She covered her head with a scarf. tables covered with white linen Lakes cover much of the state. The hikers covered long distances every day. The bird may cover thousands of miles during its migration.

Noun

She placed a cover over the pan so that the oil wouldn't spatter. I put a cover on the sofa to protect it. There's a picture of the author on the book's back cover. The singer is posing in jeans and cowboy boots on the album cover.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Geoff Baker covers the Sounders and is a sports enterprise and investigative reporter for The Seattle Times who writes a column on hockey and the NHL. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "NHL franchise in hand, the push to bring women’s professional hockey to Seattle begins in earnest," 16 Apr. 2019 While on tour in Poland, the entertainer wore a gold tinsel head covering and strutted down her hotel hallway with full force. Vogue, "The 17 Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Diplo Wears Overalls, Erykah Badu Struts, and More," 30 Mar. 2019 But don't stop there: Try one of these 30+ other flavor variations! Place eggs in large saucepan, add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Best Deviled Eggs Ever," 29 Mar. 2019 Cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Pearl Couscous With Leeks and Peas," 18 Mar. 2019 And guys are covered in it and nobody ever tells them to shave it all off. 2. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, "17 Surprising Ways You've Internalized Misogyny," 8 Mar. 2019 The new order came so suddenly that there was no international law to cover it, and until new treaties were negotiated, the government faced a losing fight at times. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019 Wide-scale releases from ICE and Border Patrol were also anticipated in the Yuma sector (covering western Arizona and the eastern edge of California), and ICE releases are set to happen in the San Diego sector (western California) as well. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump administration to release hundreds of immigrant families from detention," 27 Dec. 2018 Her hair was plaited into dreadlocks, covered with thick paste, and finished with tassels that looked like cows’ tails. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Russia’s ire at Western athletes followed regular hacks by the Fancy Bears group — which U.S. law enforcement said last year was a cover for Russian military intelligence. James Ellingworth, The Seattle Times, "Russia warms to controversial TUEs after doping scandals," 12 Apr. 2019 Protect Your Mattress: Use a zippered mattress cover, like Good Housekeeping Seal star Aller-Ease Ultimate Mattress Protector. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "This Is the Most Effective Bed Bug Treatment, According to Experts," 8 Apr. 2019 And Issa Rae seemed to announce her engagement by simply appearing on a magazine cover sporting some new bling. Nicole Briese, Allure, "Emma Stone Sparks Massive Engagement Rumors Due to Ring Finger Accessory," 7 Apr. 2019 Perhaps Lynx is using the glossy sheen of the mall as a cover to carry out its schemes. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "7 Stranger Things Season 3 Fan Theories That Will Turn Your Mind Upside Down," 22 Mar. 2019 These three ratings cover just about every light-duty vehicle on the road. Paul Weissler, Popular Mechanics, "How to Pick the Right Motor Oil for Your Car," 14 Feb. 2019 The collection includes pillowcase sets, core sheet sets, and duvet covers, all available in three gorgeous neutrals that make mixing and matching easy as ever. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Brooklinen’s New Cashmere Bedding Will Make You Never Want to Leave Your Bed," 8 Feb. 2019 Use a skinny brush and some cover-up to line the outside of your lips. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "How To Make Your Lips Look Bigger — Naturally," 6 Nov. 2018 Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican. 2:10 p.m. Fox News, "The Latest: Report IDs over 1,000 victims of priest abuse," 2 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cover.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cover

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cover

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French coverir, covrir, from Latin cooperire, from co- + operire to close, cover

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Statistics for cover

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cover

The first known use of cover was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for cover

cover

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to put something over, on top of, or in front of (something else) especially in order to protect, hide, or close it
: to be spread over or on top of (something)
: to be over much or all of the surface of (something)

cover

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cover (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is put around or on top of another thing especially to protect, hide, or close it
: a blanket or sheet on a bed
: the outer part of a book or magazine

cover

verb
cov·​er | \ ˈkə-vər How to pronounce cover (audio) \
covered; covering

Kids Definition of cover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to place or spread something over Cover the pot. She covered her head with a cloth and said a special prayer …— Lois Lowry, Number the Stars
2 : to be spread with or extend over much or all of the surface of His face is covered with freckles.
3 : to form a covering over Snow covered the ground.
4 : to pass over or through The bikers covered 50 miles a day.
5 : to provide protection to or against Soldiers covered the landing with artillery.
6 : to maintain a check on by patrolling Police cover the highways.
7 : to hide from sight or knowledge I covered my embarrassment.
8 : to deal with as a subject The test will cover everything we've studied so far.
9 : to have as a field of activity or interest Our newspaper employs a reporter covering the courthouse.
10 : to provide insurance for

cover

noun

Kids Definition of cover (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that protects, shelters, or hides
2 : a covering (as a blanket) used on a bed
3 : a binding or a protecting case a book cover
4 : something that is placed over or about another thing : lid, top a mattress cover the cover of a box
cov·​er

Legal Definition of cover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : insure this policy covers other family drivers
2 : to give protection against or compensation or indemnification for doesn't cover flood damage

intransitive verb

: to obtain cover where the seller anticipatorily repudiates a contract and the buyer does not coverCosden Oil & Chemical Co. v. Karl O. Helm AG, 736 F.2d 1064 (1984)

cover

noun

Legal Definition of cover (Entry 2 of 2)

: purchase of goods in substitution for those originally contracted for when the seller fails to fulfill the contract the buyer is always free to choose between cover and damages for nondeliveryUniform Commercial Code also : the substituted goods

Note: Under the Uniform Commercial Code, when a seller does not perform on a contract, the buyer has the option of covering, with the seller paying the difference between the cost of the cover and the original contract price, or seeking damages for nonperformance. Reselling is the seller's comparable remedy when a buyer does not perform under a contract.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cover

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cover

Spanish Central: Translation of cover

Nglish: Translation of cover for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cover for Arabic Speakers

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