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I UK [ˈkʌvə(r)] / US [ˈkʌvər] verb [transitive]
Word forms "cover":
present tense I/you/we/they cover he/she/it covers present participle covering past tense covered past participle covered
1) cover or cover over or cover up to put one thing over another, in order to protect or hide it

Cover the food until you are ready to eat it.

cover someone/something with something:

They covered her with a blanket.

be covered with/by something:

The floor was covered with plastic sheeting.

a) to be on top of something

A rug covered the hole in the carpet.

b) to put your hands over your eyes, ears, or mouth

Bob covered his eyes, unable to look at the body.

2) to be all over a surface or object

Bruises covered his entire body.

be covered with/in something:

His clothes were covered in mud.

All the furniture was covered with dust.

a) to spread something all over a surface or object

They covered the path with rose petals.

b) to spread or lie all over an area of land

Dense forest covers the lower slopes of the mountain.

a) to include and deal with a particular situation, subject, period of history etc

Section 5 covers holiday allowances for part-time workers.

Her new book covers the period from 1870 to 1918.

The programme covers all aspects of health and safety at work.

b) if a law, rule, or contract covers a particular situation, type of person etc, it includes or deals with that situation or person

The rights of unmarried fathers are not covered by this legislation.

4) to give a report or description of an event on television or radio, or in a newspaper

We will be covering the game live on Saturday afternoon.

Clare Gray covered the Paris fashion shows for The Times.

5) to have enough money to pay for something

We need £1,000 a month to cover the rent.

6) if an insurance agreement covers a situation or person, it provides protection against loss for that situation or person

The warranty does not cover damage caused by misuse of the product.

cover someone for something:

His car insurance covers him for business use.

cover someone to do something:

Are you covered to drive a truck?

cover someone against something:

You need to be covered against fire.

7) to travel a particular distance

We had to cover the last three miles on foot.

8) music to perform or record a song that was first performed by someone else

Her new album covers some old Beatles classics.

a) to protect someone from attack by pointing a gun at someone who might shoot them

His partner covered him while he ran across the prison yard.

b) to prevent someone from moving or escaping by pointing a gun towards them

You go first while we cover the back door.

10) in some sports, to stay very close to an opposing player in order to prevent them from scoring a goal or getting a point
Phrasal verbs:
II UK [ˈkʌvə(r)] / US [ˈkʌvər] noun
Word forms "cover":
singular cover plural covers
1) [countable] something that you put over something else in order to hide it, protect it, or close it

She put plastic covers on all the furniture.

duvet/cushion covers

2) the covers
[plural] sheets and blankets that you lie under in bed

He pulled the covers up and turned out the light.

a) [countable] the outside page at the front or back of a book or magazine

Her face was once on the cover of Vogue magazine.

read something from cover to cover (= read it all):

On the train I read the newspaper from cover to cover.

b) the paper or card on the front of a record or CD
4) [uncountable] British an agreement by an insurance company to pay money in a particular situation or for a particular event, person, or thing. The American word is coverage
cover for:

The policy does not provide cover for belongings when they are outside the home.

cover against:

You need to arrange cover against your traveller's cheques being stolen.

5) [uncountable] places such as buildings or trees where people or animals can hide or shelter from the weather

The troops had to run across open fields with no cover.

run for cover/take cover:

Everybody ran for cover as the hail started to fall.

break I
6) [uncountable] protection from attack, especially from someone with a gun
give cover:

Detective Philips entered the house while the other officers gave cover.

a) [countable] a legal business that is used for hiding an illegal or secret activity
cover for:

His import-export company was a cover for a drug-smuggling operation.

b) a false story that is used for hiding who someone really is

His cover was that he was an ordinary fan interested in joining the gang.

She had to leave the country after her cover was blown.

8) [uncountable] British an arrangement in which a person does the work of someone who is away from work
cover for:

The supply teacher provides cover for teachers who are sick.

emergency/holiday/maternity cover:

an agency that provides emergency cover

9) cover or cover version
[countable] music a song that is recorded by someone who is not the original performer

They did a brilliant cover of the old Abba song.

10) [countable] a place for one person at a table in a restaurant
11) [countable/uncountable] American a cover charge

under cover of night/darkness — hidden by darkness

They planned to attack under cover of darkness.

English dictionary. 2014.

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