cover

verb
cov·​er | \ ˈkə-vər How to pronounce cover (audio) \
covered; covering\ ˈkəv-​riŋ How to pronounce cover (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 The hikers covered 12 miles that day.
13 : to defray the cost of cover expenses
14 : to place one's stake in equal jeopardy within 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

Other Words from cover

Verb

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

Noun

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

Synonyms for cover

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Fellows receive a stipend of $78,000 plus an additional $5,000 to cover project expenses. Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes, 18 May 2022 This primary Election Day is the first this cycle to cover several time zones, so results will roll in through the night. Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, 17 May 2022 It's also taken organizers on a journey through the history, folklore and development of the lake atop the Sierra Nevada that holds enough water to cover all of California 14 inches deep. CBS News, 13 May 2022 Other options double as furniture and convert to coffee tables and side tables, with a center insert to cover lava rocks. Kylee Mcguigan, Popular Mechanics, 12 May 2022 The Al Jazeera reporter was the only journalist to cover her own arrest by soldiers, Barghouti wrote. Nadeen Ebrahim And Abbas Al Lawati, CNN, 11 May 2022 Furthermore, Rhodes hammered Ciani for ostensibly trying to accuse the judge of bias as a way to cover her own alleged shortcomings in court, especially as the judge kept validating the defense’s objections throughout the trial. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 11 May 2022 Fort Lauderdale taxpayers might have to fork over an eye-popping chunk of change to cover the legal fees of five attorneys who spent seven years arguing that Fort Lauderdale’s homeless feeding ban was unconstitutional. Susannah Bryan, Sun Sentinel, 11 May 2022 Make your first deposit to cover your initial wager. Xl Media, cleveland, 10 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Their work shows that combining data such as vegetation cover, weather and water presence can suggest where populations will lack iron, vitamin B12 or vitamin A. Rachel Berkowitz, Scientific American, 19 May 2022 It is similarly known as rump cover, sirloin cap or culotte and is a triangular cut with a thick layer of fat, aka the fat cap. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 19 May 2022 After releasing a slew of singles over the past month, current SPIN cover star Yungblud has revealed the details of his third studio album. Marisa Whitaker, SPIN, 17 May 2022 Transfer to a food-safe container, cover, and store at room temperature for up to 1 month. Jennifer Mcclellan, USA TODAY, 17 May 2022 While the skies are clear on the Everest summit, heavy cloud cover in the lower Khumbu Valley has created a hurdle for climbing teams. Ben Ayers, Outside Online, 16 May 2022 Instagram cover stars Serqininguak Ketura, Tauri Janée, Kim Saira, and Mikah Jones spoke about their experiences with social media and mental health in the special issue. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 12 May 2022 Click here to read Chlöe's full Allure cover interview, and click here to subscribe to Allure. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, 12 May 2022 The Casper dog bed includes a memory foam mattress, four cushions to create a bolster around the sides, and a protective, washable cover that's easily zipped on and off. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 9 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best mattress protectors.

Learn More About cover

Time Traveler for cover

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near cover

co-venture

cover

cover address

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cover

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cover. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for cover

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

cover

transitive verb
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cover

Nglish: Translation of cover for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cover for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!