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verb [with object]
1put something such as a cloth or lid on top of or in front of (something) in order to protect or conceal it:the table had been covered with a checked tablecloth she covered her face with a pillow envelop in a layer of something, especially dirt:he was covered in mud figurativeshe was covered in confusion scatter a layer of loose material over (a surface, especially a floor), leaving it completely obscured:the barn floor was covered in straw lie over or adhere to (a surface), as decoration or to conceal something:masonry paint will cover hairline cracks extend over (an area):the grounds covered eight acres travel (a specified distance):it took them four days to cover 150 miles 2deal with (a subject) by describing or analyzing its most important aspects or events:a sequence of novels that will cover the period from 1968 to the present investigate, report on, or publish or broadcast pictures of (an event):NBC is covering the Olympics work in, have responsibility for, or provide services to (a particular area):development officers whose work would cover a large area (of a rule or law) apply to (a person or situation). 3(of a sum of money) be enough to pay (a bill or cost):there are grants to cover the cost of materials for loft insulation (of insurance) protect against a liability, loss, or accident involving financial consequences:your contents are now covered against accidental loss or damage in transit
) take precautionary measures so as to protect oneself against future blame or liability:one reason doctors take temperatures is to cover themselves against negligence claims
4disguise the sound or fact of (something) with another sound or action:Louise laughed to cover her embarrassment [no object]
) disguise the illicit absence or wrongdoing of (someone) in order to spare them punishment:if the sergeant wants to know where you are, I’ll cover for you
) temporarily take over the job of (a colleague) in their absence:during August ministers cover for other ministers
5aim a gun at (someone) in order to prevent them from moving or escaping. protect (an exposed person) by shooting at an enemy: (as adjective covering)the jeeps retreated behind spurts of covering fire (of a fortress, gun, or cannon) have (an area) within range. (in team games) take up a position ready to defend against (an opposing player). Baseball be in position at (a base) ready to catch a thrown ball. 6 Bridge play a higher card on (a high card) in a trick:the ploy will fail if the ten is covered [no object]:East covered with his queen 7record or perform a new version of (a song) originally performed by someone else:other artists who have covered the song include U2 8(of a male animal, especially a stallion) copulate with (a female animal), especially as part of a commercial transaction between the owners of the animals.
1a thing that lies on, over, or around something, especially in order to protect or conceal it:a seat cover a thin solid object that seals a container or hole; a lid:a manhole cover a thick protective outer part or page of a book or magazine:her life was captured between hard covers in her 1986 autobiography Philately a card or envelope that has traveled through the mail or that contains postal markings.
) bedclothes:she burrowed down beneath the covers
2physical shelter or protection sought by people in danger:the sirens wailed and people ran for cover store seats under cover before the bad weather sets in undergrowth, trees, or other vegetation used as a shelter by animals:the standing crops of game cover a landscape bare of woodland except for neat little fox coversSee also covert (sense 1 of the noun). an activity or organization used as a means of concealing an illegal or secret activity:a restaurant is run as a cover for a money-laundering operation [in singular] an identity or activity adopted by a person, typically a spy, to conceal their true activities:he was worried that their cover was blown military support given when someone is in danger from or being attacked by an enemy:they agreed to provide additional naval cover Ecology the amount of ground covered by a vertical projection of the vegetation, usually expressed as a percentage.
4a place setting at a table in a restaurant.
[rendering French couvert]
5 (also cover version) a recording or performance of a previously recorded song made especially to take advantage of the original’s success.