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cover - definition and synonyms

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noun     cover pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 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.

  2. 2

    the covers

    [plural] sheets and blankets that you lie under in bed

    He pulled the covers up and turned out the light.

  3. 3
    [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.

    1. a.
      the paper or card on the front of a record or CD
  4. 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. 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.

    See also break
  6. 6
    [uncountable] protection from attack, especially from someone with a gun
    give cover:

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

  7. 7
    [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.

    1. a.
      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.

      Synonyms and related words
  8. 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. 9



    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.

    Synonyms and related words
  10. 10
    [countable] a place for one person at a table in a restaurant
  11. 11
    [countable/uncountable] American a cover charge
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to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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