cover

verb
cov·​er | \ ˈkə-vər \
covered; covering\ ˈkəv-​riŋ , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cover

Verb

coverable \ ˈkəv-​rə-​bəl , ˈkə-​və-​ \ adjective
coverer \ ˈkə-​vər-​ər \ noun

Noun

coverless \ ˈkə-​vər-​ləs \ adjective

Synonyms for cover

Synonyms: Verb

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

Synonyms: Noun

cap, lid, top

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

The sanctions cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. Karin Laub, The Seattle Times, "Pompeo starts Middle East visit to ramp up pressure on Iran," 8 Jan. 2019 Add pumpkin, carrots, onion, garlic, sage, and ½ tsp each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 12 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Pumpkin-Carrot Soup," 7 Jan. 2019 According to People, the dress is covered in 63,000 twisted glass tubes and uses over 49 feet of pink mousseline fabric. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Emma Stone's Nude Golden Globes Dress Has the Internet Stunned," 7 Jan. 2019 Of course, if enough business goes to nonhospital options there won’t be sufficient hospital revenue to cover all of the overhead inherent in operating a hospital, and hospitals will close, as many already have. WSJ, "Costs Convert Hospitals Into One-Stop Shops," 6 Jan. 2019 She's traded in her Abercrombie & Fitch hoodies for Dior gowns and Vogue covers. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "10 Fashion Influencers Who Run Their Own Brands Like a Boss," 3 Jan. 2019 There was a catch, though; Jenner’s stomach was covered by a blanket. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Kylie Jenner returned as online queen in 2018 after disappearing for nearly a year," 21 Dec. 2018 Even stranger, Prince Louis is covering up the same side of her top as then-baby Princess Charlotte did back in 2015. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Did Kate Middleton Wear the Same Thing in This Year's Christmas Card as in the One from 2015?," 14 Dec. 2018 The existing Microsoft 365 service for enterprises covers Windows 10, Office 365 and a bundle of enterprise services called EMS, mainly geared at device management. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "A Microsoft 365 subscription for consumers wouldn't work without the Xbox," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Newsweek even put Klein on its cover in May 1978, calling him the country’s foremost fashion designer. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The Calvin Klein brand hired big-name fashion designer Raf Simons to build relevancy. Now he’s out.," 27 Dec. 2018 With their covers about to be blown, the Israeli undercover forces inside the vehicle opened fire, setting off a fierce battle that left eight people dead and triggered a brief but intense round of cross-border fighting. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Palestinians offer new details of Israel’s botched Gaza raid," 12 Dec. 2018 Shawn Mendes might not be a big fan of his recent Rolling Stone cover, but one of his BFFs is super excited for him. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Camila Cabello Reveals That She Has A Sweet Nickname for Shawn Mendes and Fans Are Convinced They’re In Love," 29 Nov. 2018 Getty ImagesJulian Finney The world isn't great right now, but GQ Magazine released its covers for the 2018 Men of The Year yesterday, and the three men are my boyfriend Michael B Jordan, and my other boyfriend Henry Golding and Jonah Hill. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Serena Williams Is GQ's 'Woman Of The Year' and Here's Why That's Controversial," 13 Nov. 2018 This fall MoMA Store put Hay’s water bottles, designed by George Sowden, on its catalog cover, which has a circulation of about 1 million, and those have been selling well, too. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Is America ready for Denmark’s coolest design brand?," 1 Nov. 2018 According to Arnold, the designer came to Eloquii with a specific image as inspiration: the June 2011 issue of Vogue Italia featuring Tara Lynn, Robyn Lawley, and Candice Huffine—the first time the magazine features plus-sized models on its cover. Glamour, "Every Single Look From Jason Wu's Plus-Size Collaboration With Eloquii," 1 Nov. 2018 Our four different covers were reflective of different issues the industry is grappling with. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ads are just one piece of a bigger ‘reckoning’ in the fashion industry," 20 Sep. 2018 If you're still not sold, let it be known that one reviewer's wife actually went into labor unexpectedly and gave birth on their bed — and their SafeRest cover kept their mattress totally mess-free. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This Is The Best-Selling Mattress Protector On Amazon, And It's Only $25," 3 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cover

Statistics for cover

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cover

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on cover

What made you want to look up cover? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!