cov·​er-up ˈkə-vər-ˌəp How to pronounce cover-up (audio)
: a device or stratagem for masking or concealing
his garrulousness is a cover-up for insecurity
: a usually concerted effort to keep an illegal or unethical act or situation from being made public
: a loose outer garment

Examples of cover-up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Season 3 revolves around Standish’s kidnapping after an AA meeting, and its ties to a MI5 cover-up that involves keeping their dirty laundry private by offing their own agents. Stephen Rodrick, Variety, 29 Nov. 2023 Made from lightweight and breathable fabric, this cover-up keeps you cool and comfortable even on the hottest days. Poppy Morgan, Rolling Stone, 24 Nov. 2023 Another snap showed Malcolm wearing a yellow cover-up while playing on a beach chair. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2023 Three high-ranking sheriff’s officials sued Villanueva and accused him of orchestrating a cover-up in the case. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2023 And these cover-ups had a deeply negative effect on the American public’s trust in government, including its ability to get to the bottom of what really happened in Dallas in 1963. Timothy Naftali, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2023 The government announced that yes, there had been a cover-up at Roswell—just not the one that the UFO conspiracists wanted to believe. WIRED, 14 Nov. 2023 The film, which delves into the deaths of four U.S. Special Forces soldiers in Africa and exposes a government cover-up, was produced by ABC News and first launched on Hulu in November 2021. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 13 Nov. 2023 There’s also a solid chance that the fallout from Bradley’s cover-up of her brother’s involvement in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol will continue to play into the storyline. Melissa Girimonte, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cover-up.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1927, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of cover-up was in 1927

Dictionary Entries Near cover-up

Cite this Entry

“Cover-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a planned effort to conceal a wrongful act or situation

More from Merriam-Webster on cover-up

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