Definition of cover verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkʌvə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌvər//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they cover
    BrE BrE//ˈkʌvə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌvər//
    he / she / it covers
    BrE BrE//ˈkʌvəz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌvərz//
    past simple covered
    BrE BrE//ˈkʌvəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌvərd//
    past participle covered
    BrE BrE//ˈkʌvəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌvərd//
    -ing form covering
    BrE BrE//ˈkʌvərɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌvərɪŋ//
    The press, Producing TV shows
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  1. 1  [transitive] cover something (with something) to place something over or in front of something in order to hide or protect it Cover the chicken loosely with foil. She covered her face with her hands. (figurative) He laughed to cover (= hide) his nervousness. Synonymshideconceal cover disguise mask camouflageThese words all mean to put or keep somebody/​something in a place where they/​it cannot be seen or found, or to keep the truth or your feelings secret.hide to put or keep somebody/​something in a place where they/​it cannot be seen or found; to keep something secret, especially your feelings:He hid the letter in a drawer. She managed to hide her disappointment.conceal (formal) to hide somebody/​something; to keep something secret:The paintings were concealed beneath a thick layer of plaster. Tim could barely conceal his disappointment. When it is being used to talk about emotions, conceal is often used in negative statements. cover to place something over or in front of something in order to hide it:She covered her face with her hands.disguise to hide or change the nature of something, so that it cannot be recognized:He tried to disguise his accent.mask to hide a feeling, smell, fact, etc. so that it cannot be easily seen or noticed:She masked her anger with a smile.camouflage to hide somebody/​something by making them/​it look like the things around, or like something else:The soldiers camouflaged themselves with leaves and twigs.Patterns to hide/​conceal/​disguise/​mask/​camouflage something behind something to hide/​conceal something under something to hide/​conceal something from somebody to hide/​conceal/​disguise/​mask the truth/​the fact that… to hide/​conceal/​disguise/​mask your feelings
  2. spread over surface
  3. 2  [transitive] cover something to lie or spread over the surface of something Snow covered the ground. Much of the country is covered by forest.
  4. 3  [transitive] to put or spread a layer of liquid, dust, etc. on somebody/something cover somebody/something in something The players were soon covered in mud. cover somebody/something with something The wind blew in from the desert and covered everything with sand.
  5. include
  6. 4  [transitive] cover something to include something; to deal with something The survey covers all aspects of the business. The lectures covered a lot of ground (= a lot of material, subjects, etc.). the sales team covering the northern part of the country (= selling to people in that area) Do the rules cover (= do they apply to) a case like this?
  7. money
  8. 5  [transitive] cover something to be or provide enough money for something $100 should cover your expenses. Your parents will have to cover your tuition fees. The show barely covered its costs.
  9. distance/area
  10. 6[transitive] cover something to travel the distance mentioned By sunset we had covered thirty miles. They walked for a long time and covered a good deal of ground.
  11. 7[transitive] cover something to spread over the area mentioned The reserve covers an area of some 1 140 square kilometres.
  12. report news
  13. 8[transitive] cover something to report on an event for television, a newspaper, etc.; to show an event on television She's covering the party's annual conference. The BBC will cover all the major games of the tournament. See related entries: The press, Producing TV shows
  14. for somebody
  15. 9[intransitive] cover for somebody to do somebody’s work or duties while they are away I'm covering for Jane while she's on leave.
  16. 10[intransitive] cover for somebody to invent a lie or an excuse that will stop somebody from getting into trouble I have to go out for a minute—will you cover for me if anyone asks where I am?
  17. with insurance
  18. 11[transitive] to protect somebody against loss, injury, etc. by insurance cover somebody/something (against/for something) Are you fully covered for fire and theft? cover somebody/something to do something Does this policy cover my husband to drive?
  19. against blame
  20. 12[transitive] cover yourself (against something) to take action in order to protect yourself against being blamed for something One reason doctors take temperatures is to cover themselves against negligence claims.
  21. with gun
  22. 13[transitive] cover somebody to protect somebody by threatening to shoot at anyone who tries to attack them Cover me while I move forward. The artillery gave us covering fire (= shot to protect us).
  23. 14[transitive] cover somebody/something to aim a gun at a place or person so that nobody can escape or shoot The police covered the exits to the building. Don't move—we've got you covered!
  24. song
  25. 15[transitive] cover something to record a new version of a song that was originally recorded by another band or singer They've covered an old Rolling Stones number.
  26. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French covrir, from Latin cooperire, from co- (expressing intensive force) + operire ‘to cover’. The noun is partly a variant of covert.Extra examples He covered the body with a cloth. He tried to cover his embarrassment by starting to rub his hands together. Her dress barely covered her chest. Her hair partially covered her face. She tried to cover her face with her hands. She used dried leaves and twigs to cover up the hole. The cars were all covered in snow. The children were completely covered with mud. The payments he gets barely cover his expenses. The tax may be extended to cover books. This policy should cover you against accidental injury. We’ve hardly covered a quarter of the course. a policy that covers you for fire and theft Do the rules cover a case like this? He covered the journey at top speed. He laughed to cover his embarrassment. He manages the sales team covering the northern part of the country. I covered a lot of ground rapidly and soon caught up with them. She’s covering the party’s annual conference. The lectures covered a lot of ground. The media has consistently refused to cover the story. They covered long distances on foot. We must have covered over 20 miles.Idioms to consider and deal with all the things that could happen or could be needed when you are arranging something I am confident this contract covers all the bases.
    cover your back (informal) (North American English also cover your ass taboo, slang)
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    to realize that you may be blamed or criticized for something later and take action to avoid this Get everything in writing in order to cover your back.
    cover/hide a multitude of sins
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    (often humorous) to hide the real situation or facts when these are not good or pleasant She was dressed in loose comfortable clothes that hid a multitude of sins.
    to try and hide what you have done, because you do not want other people to find out about it He had attempted to cover his tracks by making her death appear like suicide.
    Phrasal Verbscover somethingincover somethingovercover upcover somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cover