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

The vaccine is put into a packet and covered in flavored bait such as egg or fish to attract animals. Minali Nigam, CNN, "Most rabies infections in the United States come from bats, CDC says," 12 June 2019 The paint was still fresh on the walls, the corners bordered by blue painters’ tape and the floors covered in newspaper. Meagan Flynn, Washington Post, "‘They just vanished’: A business partner murdered a family of four with a sledgehammer, jury finds," 11 June 2019 The Bounty is packed with coconut and covered in milk chocolate. Lucas Kwan Peterson, latimes.com, "The official candy bar power rankings," 11 June 2019 What remains of the crater is submerged in water that's 600-feet deep and covered in sediment, scientists said. Fox News, "Ancient asteroid crater found off the coast of Scotland," 11 June 2019 On a drive through the site on Saturday, walls once covered in revolutionary graffiti had already been whitewashed. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Sudan Protesters, Devastated but Defiant, Regroup Underground After Crackdown," 9 June 2019 Melania Geymonat, one of the victims in the attack, posted a photo on Facebook of her and her girlfriend Chris, both covered in blood. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Lesbian Couple Assaulted on London Bus By Four Men Who Had Demanded The Women Kiss 'So They Could Enjoy Watching'," 7 June 2019 Both women, Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend, Chris, were left bruised and covered in blood, a photo Geymonat posted on her Facebook page shows. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "Four teenagers arrested in attack against lesbian couple on a London bus," 7 June 2019 If using fresh peas, cook peas just barely covered in water in a saucepan with a dash of salt until almost done, but still slightly firm, drain and allow to cool. 2. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Small town favorite restaurant hoping for new owners," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Michael Wolter talked to students about building their resumes, writing cover letters and how to prepare for job interviews. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Skills Academy meant to boost career prospects for East Hartford residents," 13 June 2019 In an impassioned speech, preceded by prayers of lamentation, Greear blamed the crisis on years of cover-ups. Jay Reeves And David Crary, Houston Chronicle, "Southern Baptist leader bemoans abuse crisis, vows action," 13 June 2019 In an impassioned speech, preceded by prayers of lamentation, Greear blamed the crisis on years of cover-ups. Washington Post, "Southern Baptist leader bemoans abuse crisis, vows action," 13 June 2019 The cover, stained and worn by the imperceptible fingerprints of generations past, reads: Disegni di Leonardo da Vinci Restaurati da Pompeo Leoni (drawings by Leonardo da Vinci conserved by Pompeo Leoni). Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "Why Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliance endures, 500 years after his death," 12 June 2019 Place in a nonreactive bowl or jar, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Marinating olives, Sicilian style and simply," 12 June 2019 And there at the witness table sat none other than John Dean, White House counsel to President Richard Nixon during Watergate, who did prison time and lost his law license for his role in the cover-up. Dana Milbank, The Mercury News, "Milbank: This is worse than Watergate — in the way it’s being handled," 11 June 2019 Assistant City Attorney Susan Lappen said in an email that there was no cover-up or code of silence. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Proposal to offer up to $160,000 to handcuffed man kicked by Milwaukee cop moves forward," 10 June 2019 And any poults that did result from rare successful nests faced a dry landscape that was lacking abundant insects for forage and grasses or other vegetation for cover from predators and Texas’ scorching summer sun. Shannon Tompkins, ExpressNews.com, "Texas turkeys thriving after mild, wet spring," 8 June 2019

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

15 Jun 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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