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cover - definition and synonyms


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verb [transitive] cover pronunciation in British English /ˈkʌvə(r)/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlecovering
past tensecovered
past participlecovered
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  1. 1



    cover over


    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.

    1. a.
      to be on top of something

      A rug covered the hole in the carpet.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      to put your hands over your eyes, ears, or mouth

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

      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    to be all over a surface or object
    be covered with/in something:

    His clothes were covered in mud.

    All the furniture was covered with dust.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      to spread something all over a surface or object

      They covered the path with rose petals.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      to spread or lie all over an area of land
      Synonyms and related words
  3. 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.

  4. 5
    to have enough money to pay for something

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

  5. 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.

  6. 7
    to travel a particular distance

    We had to cover the last three miles on foot.

  7. 8
    music to perform or record a song that was first performed by someone else

    Her new album covers some old Beatles classics.

    Synonyms and related words
  8. 9
    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.

    1. a.
      to prevent someone from moving or escaping by pointing a gun towards them

      You go first while we cover the back door.

      Synonyms and related words

phrasal verbs


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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an electric skateboard

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