Meaning of COVER in English


I. ˈkəvə(r) verb

( covered ; covered ; covering ˈkəv(ə)riŋ, -rēŋ ; covers )

Etymology: Middle English coveren, from Old French covrir, from Latin cooperire, from co- + operire to cover, from (assumed) Latin opverire, from Latin op- (akin to Latin ob to, before, against) + (assumed) Latin verire to cover — more at epi- , weir

transitive verb


a. : to guard from attack : protect by interposition as a defending element : guard the safety and further the success of by aggressive action precluding attack

units covering the retreat of the main army

ships covering approaches to the harbor

covering the landing with a naval bombardment


(1) : to serve as a defense unit or center for : have within the range of one's guns : command

forts covering the city

artillery covering the channel

(2) : to have within direct range of an aimed or drawn firearm

the deputy covered the wounded gangster

(3) : to protect by being in position and readiness to fire at a possible attacker

the others in the patrol were covering the leader


(1) : to afford protection or security to typically by means of some stated provision : insure against a specified risk : guarantee indemnification to

a policy covering the traveler in all kinds of accidents

cover teachers by the retirement plan

(2) : to afford protection against or compensation or indemnification for

cover any storm losses

cover loss of time due to illness

(3) : to protect (oneself) against the consequences of possible loss or incrimination

they felt themselves to be exposed to unnecessary risk, and they started to cover themselves — Roy Lewis & Angus Maude

cover himself with an alibi


(1) : to guard (as an opponent) in order to obstruct a play

covering the ends on a forward pass

keeping the wings covered in hockey

(2) : to station oneself so as to be able to receive a throw to (a base in baseball)

the pitcher covered first on the bunt


(1) : to guard against or make provision for (a demand or charge) by means of a reserve stock or deposit

a balance to cover the check

money to cover his debts

(2) : to maintain a check on by patrolling or watching

motorcycle police covering the roads

(3) : to protect by contrivance or expedient

otherwise slavers could cover themselves by that flag with impunity — S.F.Bemis



(1) : to hide from sight or knowledge : prevent observation or knowledge of : divert attention from : conceal the impression of by a device for masking : conceal

a show of his old arrogance to cover his embarrassment — Agnes S. Turnbull

the shrewd purpose, covered over with pretentious rhetoric — V.L.Parrington

(2) : to conceal or mask as blameworthy or illicit

fanaticism covers a weakness of moral position — Weston La Barre

— often used with up or over

cover up a scandal

covering up his own lack of trust

(3) : to divert attention from (another who is engaged in something criminal or unethical)

(4) : to obliterate from knowledge or remembrance (as through complete forgiveness)

blessed is he … whose sin is covered — Ps 32:1 (Authorized Version)

(5) : to block (an actor or a stage property) from being seen by an audience or photographed by a camera

(6) : make vt 13b

(7) : blanket II 3d

b. : to envelope or lie over or around so as to present an ornamental, disguising, or protecting exterior

all that beauty that doth cover thee — Shakespeare

3. : to put, lay, or spread something over, on, or before (as for protecting, enclosing, or masking) : overlay

covering the seed bed with straw

covering the bruise with salve


a. : to lie over : spread over : be placed on or often over the whole surface of : envelope , film , coat

snow covering the highways

new paint covering the old

covered with oil

a badly wounded man covered with blood

b. : to extend thickly over conspicuously or dominatingly : abound over : occupy the whole surface of

locusts covering the plains

armadas covering the sea

invaders covering the land

c. : to appear here and there on the surface of : dot , dapple — usually used with with

a resort area covered with lakes

— often in Brit. use with in

the backs of his huge hands were covered in thick black hair — George Bellairs

5. : to protect or conceal (one's body or a part of it) from view typically with an article of clothing or bedding

cover her nakedness

cover your head

cover your mouth while coughing

6. : to equip with a cover : place or set a cover over permanently or temporarily

cover a book with leather

cover a couch with mohair

cover a pan with a lid

7. : to put a surface layer over usually completely

a tent covered with skins

covering the old roof with new shingles

covering the page with ink


a. : to fill (a blank surface) completely

covering the sheet of paper with marks

covering the silk with embroidery

b. : to spread a cloth over in preparing to serve a meal

9. : to rise above and immerse

floodwaters covering the town

enough water to cover the vegetables


a. : to copulate with (a female) : serve — usually used of an animal (as a horse)

a horse covers a mare

b. : to sit on and incubate (eggs) : brood

11. : to bring upon or earn for (a person) a large or excessive amount of something usually immaterial

covered with shame at his failure

covers himself with glory in the battle


a. : to play a higher-ranking card immediately after or on (a previously played card)

North covered West's jack with the queen

b. : to be higher in rank than (the previously played card)

the king from the dummy covered the queen led by East


a. : to have width or scope enough to include or embrace

an examination covering the year's work

we must remember that no laws can be provided to cover every contingency — F.D.Roosevelt

b. : to comprise, include, or embrace in an effective scope of treatment or operation

policy clauses covering the situation

plans covering unexpected enemy attacks

14. : to subsume in an overall class, significance, or meaning

people are so intensely for anything covered by the word democratic — M.R.Cohen

a formula which should cover everything I wished to include — T.S.Eliot

15. : to treat or deal with ; often : discuss

material covered in the first chapter

a talk covering an important question


a. : to serve often with scope or inclusiveness in an indicated or expected way

bus lines covering the area

: operate in

b. : to have (a locality or a group of persons) as one's territory or field of activity (as in selling the merchandise or promoting the interests of a company or in rendering social or business service)

one salesman covers the whole state


a. : to pass over at an indicated speed : journey through while executing one's mission : travel , traverse

covering 10 miles that day

covering the distance to the city in two hours

prospectors who covered this range

b. : to be found over or in : inhabit

tribes that cover these areas

c. : to travel to or through as a sightseer : visit as a sightseer

covering three states in two days

the trip covered the museum that afternoon

18. : to be adequate to defray or compensate : defray the cost of : pay for : balance

a reserve fund to cover unexpected expenses

a special grant to cover the research program

19. : to place one's money or stake upon or in equal jeopardy with (the money or stake of one's opponent) in a bet : answer to (a similar offer or challenge) : accept an offered bet by (a person)

20. : to extend a treatment over : range in treatment through or over

a series of medical examinations covering three weeks

a novel covering three generations

21. : to buy securities or commodities for delivery against (an earlier short sale)

covering his shorts

cover his sales

22. : to report news about : investigate, watch, and check on for newsworthy material : be responsible for information about : take news pictures of

reporters and radio commentators covering the campaign

23. : to extend over (an indicated area)

a park covering 50 acres

intransitive verb


a. obsolete : to spread a table for a meal

b. : to put one's hat back on after having stood bareheaded

2. : to spread over a surface

this paint covers well

3. : to buy stocks or commodities for delivery on a date fixed by a previously contracted sale

covering at a loss


a. : to guard a player, play, or position (as in basketball)

b. : to play a higher-ranking card on a lower-ranking one

5. of a bird or mammal : to become covered with feathers or hair (as after a molt)


a. : to conceal something illicit, blameworthy, or embarrassing from notice : prevent one from being censured for error, laxity, or omission — usually used with up

cover up for a careless friend

b. : to act as a substitute or replacement to prevent loss or disaster during an absence

a fire company covering for another answering a call

a stand-in covering for an injured star

c. : to assume a defensive position (as in boxing) that protects the face and midriff — often used with up

the challenger covered up

- cover one's tracks

- cover the ground

II. noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from coveren to cover

1. : something that protects, shelters, or guards

run for cover when the fight starts



(1) : a place of natural shelter for an animal or bird especially when sought as game

foxes in a cover

(2) : the factors that provide natural shelter and protection for wild animals (as suitable arrangements of vegetation, denning sites, or rock formations)

(3) : plants and their residues covering the ground and retarding runoff and erosion of soil


(1) : a position or situation affording protection from enemy fire

as the gunners ducked behind cover — C.S.Forester

the platoon sergeant crawls and slithers from cover to cover — Burtt Evans

cover and concealment

(2) : the protection offered by aircraft in tactical support of a military operation

landing on the beach under heavy air cover


(1) : a deposit or sum of money sufficient to secure against loss or to meet an obligation

(2) : insurance coverage


(1) : cover point

(2) covers plural : cover point and extra cover point

a drive through the covers

2. : something that is placed over or about another thing : something that covers:

a. : lid , top

a box cover


(1) : a binding or case for a book or the comparable outer part of a pamphlet or magazine ; also : either rectangular portion of this cover extending from the backbone and forming the front or the back

front cover

(2) : jacket 3f (1)

c. : an overlay or outer layer especially for protection

a mattress cover



[translation of French couvert ]

: a tablecloth and the other table fittings ; especially : the table fittings for use of one person at a meal

covers were laid for 50 guests

(2) : cover charge

e. : copulation : an act of covering — usually used of animals (as horses)

f. : roof

exhibits under cover


(1) : a cloth used on a bed for warmth or for decoration (as a quilt, blanket, bedspread, or coverlet)

(2) : bedclothes for covering a person in bed — usually used in plural

h. Britain : an automobile tire tread

i. : something that covers the ground:

(1) : vegetation

a thick forest cover in these areas

(2) : snow especially for skiing

the lodge area had a good cover

j. : a large shallow salt pan with a movable roof used for making salt from brine by evaporation in the sun

k. : cover stone

l. : the overburden or cap rock above a deposit (as of ore, oil, or coal)

m. : full obscuration of the sky by clouds : the extent to which clouds obscure the sky

clear weather with only 1/10 cover

3. : something that conceals or obscures : concealment: as

a. : the total factors making for hiding or obscuring

a crime committed under cover of darkness

b. : a masking device or pretext : screen , guise

the club was a cover for a subversive group

we may admit that our conventional morality often serves as a cover for hypocrisy and selfishness — Lucius Garvin

under cover of altruism he took greedy advantage of the wartime misfortunes — Ann F. Wolfe

a spy with a cover name


(1) : an envelope or wrapper that contains or has contained mail matter

(2) : an envelope, wrapper, letter sheet, or postal card bearing stamp and postmark or other markings showing that it has passed through the mails — see flown cover , stampless


a. : the uniform appearance of plain closely woven goods with threads evenly spaced

b. : the nap on fabric

5. : the whole width of a horseshoe

a shoe with a cover of 6 inches

- from cover to cover

- off cover

- on cover

- under cover

III. transitive verb

: to record or perform a cover of (a song)

IV. noun

or cover version

: a recording or performance of a song originally done by another performer or aimed at a defferent market

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.