/kuv"euhr/, v.t.1. to be or serve as a covering for; extend over; rest on the surface of: Snow covered the fields.2. to place something over or upon, as for protection, concealment, or warmth.3. to provide with a covering or top: Cover the pot with a lid.5. to bring upon (oneself): He covered himself with glory by his exploits.6. to hide from view; screen.7. to spread on or over; apply to: to cover bread with honey.8. to put all over the surface of: to cover a wall with paint.9. to include, deal with, or provide for; address: The rules cover working conditions.10. to suffice to defray or meet (a charge, expense, etc.): Ten dollars should cover my expenses.12. to achieve in distance traversed; pass or travel over: We covered 600 miles a day on our trip.13. Journalism.a. to act as a reporter or reviewer of (an event, a field of interest, a performance, etc.); have as an assignment: She covers sports for the paper.b. to publish or broadcast a report or reports of (a news item, a series of related events, etc.): The press covered the trial in great detail.14. to pass or rise over and surmount or envelop: The river covered the town during the flood.15. Insurance. to insure against risk or loss.16. to shelter; protect; serve as a defense for.17. Mil.a. to be in line with by occupying a position directly before or behind.b. to protect (a soldier, force, or military position) during an expected period of ground combat by taking a position from which any hostile troops can be fired upon.18. to take temporary charge of or responsibility for in place of another: Please cover my phone while I'm out to lunch.19. to extend over; comprise: The book covers 18th-century England.20. to be assigned to or responsible for, as a territory or field of endeavor: We have two sales representatives covering the Southwest.21. to aim at, as with a pistol.22. to have within range, as a fortress does adjacent territory.23. to play a card higher than (the one led or previously played in the round).24. to deposit the equivalent of (money deposited), as in wagering.25. to accept the conditions of (a bet, wager, etc.).26. (in short selling) to purchase securities or commodities in order to deliver them to the broker from whom they were borrowed.27. Baseball. to take a position close to or at (a base) so as to catch a ball thrown to the base: The shortstop covered second on the attempted steal.28. Sports. to guard (an opponent on offense) so as to prevent him or her from scoring or carrying out his or her assignment: to cover a potential pass receiver.29. (esp. of a male animal) to copulate with.30. (of a hen) to brood or sit on (eggs or chicks).v.i.31. Informal. to serve as a substitute for someone who is absent: We cover for the receptionist during lunch hour.32. to hide the wrongful or embarrassing action of another by providing an alibi or acting in the other's place: They covered for him when he missed roll call.33. to play a card higher than the one led or previously played in the round: She led the eight and I covered with the jack.34. to spread over an area or surface, esp. for the purpose of obscuring an existing covering or of achieving a desired thickness and evenness: This paint is much too thin to cover.35. cover one's ass, Slang (vulgar). to take measures that will prevent one from suffering blame, loss, harm, etc.36. cover up,a. to cover completely; enfold.b. to keep secret; conceal: She tried to cover up her part in the plot.n.37. something that covers, as the lid of a container or the binding of a book.38. a blanket, quilt, or the like: Put another cover on the bed.39. protection; shelter; concealment.40. anything that veils, screens, or shuts from sight: under cover of darkness.41. woods, underbrush, etc., serving to shelter and conceal wild animals or game; a covert.42. Ecol. vegetation that serves to protect or conceal animals, such as birds, from excessive sunlight, from drying, or from predators.43. a set of eating utensils and the like, as plate, knife, fork, and napkin, placed for each person at a table.44. an assumed identity, occupation, or business that masks the true or real one: His job at the embassy was a cover for his work as a spy.45. a covering of snow, esp. when suitable for skiing.46. a pretense; feigning.47. a person who substitutes for another or stands ready to substitute if needed: She was hired as a cover for six roles at the opera house.48. See cover charge.49. Philately.a. an envelope or outer wrapping for mail.b. a letter folded so that the address may be placed on the outside and the missive mailed.50. Finance. funds to cover liability or secure against risk of loss.51. Music. See cover version.52. Also called covering. Math. a collection of sets having the property that a given set is contained in the union of the sets in the collection.53. blow one's cover, to divulge one's secret identity, esp. inadvertently: The TV news story blew his carefully fabricated cover.54. break cover, to emerge, esp. suddenly, from a place of concealment: The fox broke cover and the chase was on.55. take cover, to seek shelter or safety: The hikers took cover in a deserted cabin to escape the sudden storm.56. under cover,a. clandestinely; secretly: Arrangements for the escape were made under cover.b. within an envelope: The report will be mailed to you under separate cover.[1200-50; ME coveren < OF covrir < L cooperire to cover completely, equiv. to co- CO- + operire to shut, close, cover (op-, appar. for ob- OB- + -erire; see APERIENT)]Syn. 2. overlay, overspread, envelop, enwrap. 6. cloak, conceal. 11. counterbalance, compensate for. 39, 40. COVER, PROTECTION, SCREEN, SHELTER mean a defense against harm or danger and a provision for safety. The main idea in COVER is that of concealment, as in darkness, in a wood, or behind something: The ground troops were left without cover when the air force was withdrawn.SCREEN refers especially to something behind which one can hide: A heavy fire formed a screen for ground operations. PROTECTION and SHELTER emphasize the idea of a guard or defense, a shield against injury or death. A PROTECTION is any such shield: In World War II, an air cover of airplanes served as a protection for troops. A SHELTER is something that covers over and acts as a place of refuge: An abandoned monastery acted as a shelter.
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