cov·​er·​ture | \ ˈkə-vər-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce coverture (audio) , -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r\

Definition of coverture

1a : covering
b : shelter
2 : the status a woman acquires upon marriage under common law

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of coverture in a Sentence

under the coverture of a raging snowstorm, the rebels undertook their surprise attack on the fortress

Recent Examples on the Web

Coverture also meant that a man had largely unrestrained access to his wife’s body. Elizabeth Weingarten, The Atlantic, "Is This the End of the Crusade for Gender-Equal Curricula?," 15 June 2017 The answer partially lies in the practices of coverture, embedded in the old law of domestic relations that American colonists inherited from the British and didn’t change after the Revolution. Elizabeth Weingarten, The Atlantic, "Is This the End of the Crusade for Gender-Equal Curricula?," 15 June 2017

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

First Known Use of coverture

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coverture

Statistics for coverture

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coverture

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for coverture


cov·​er·​ture | \ ˈkə-vər-ˌchu̇r, -chər How to pronounce coverture (audio) \

Legal Definition of coverture

: the inclusion of a woman in the legal person of her husband upon marriage under common law

Note: Because of coverture, married women formerly did not have the legal capacity to hold their own property or contract on their own behalf. These disabilities have been removed for the most part by statute.

History and Etymology for coverture

Anglo-French, literally, shelter, covering, from Old French, from covert, past participle of covrir to cover

More from Merriam-Webster on coverture

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coverture

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coverture Encyclopedia article about coverture

Comments on coverture

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


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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