Definition of “cover” - English Dictionary

“cover” in British English

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uk /ˈkʌv.ər/ us /ˈkʌv.ɚ/

cover verb (PLACE OVER)

A2 [ T ] to put or spread something over something, or to lie on the surface of something:

The light was so bright that I had to cover my eyes.
Snow covered the hillsides.
She covered him (up) with a blanket.
Cover the meat with a layer of cheese.
The bandages were covered with/in blood.
How much of the earth's surface is covered by/with water?

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cover verb (DEAL WITH)

B1 [ T ] to deal with or direct attention to something:

This leaflet covers what we've just discussed in more detail.
Do these parking restrictions cover residents as well as visitors?
The salesman's territory covers the whole of the southeast.

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cover verb (PROTECT)

C1 [ T ] to protect someone against loss, damage, accident, or having something stolen, by having insurance:

Does your travel insurance cover you against/for the loss or theft of cash?
cover yourself

to do something to protect yourself from blame or criticism in the future:

I kept copies of my expense receipts, just to cover myself.

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cover verb (BE ENOUGH)

C1 [ T ] to be enough money to pay for something:

The selling price barely covered the cost of the raw materials.
Would £50 cover your expenses?

cover verb (GIVE PROTECTION)

[ T ] to aim a gun or shoot at someone to try to stop them from shooting or escaping, or to protect someone else:

The police officer was covered by her colleagues while she ran towards the gunman's hideout.

[ T ] When soldiers or police officers cover a place such as a road or building, they are in a position from which they can watch and defend it:

All the exits are covered, so they can't escape.

cover verb (DO SOMEONE'S JOB)

[ I or T ] to do someone else's job or duty when they are absent:

I'm going to the doctor's tomorrow, so do you think you could cover my shift for me?
Sorry, I'm already covering for someone else.


uk /ˈkʌv.ər/ us /ˈkʌv.ɚ/


B1 [ C ] something that is put on or over something else, usually to protect it, to keep something in, etc.:

I keep my computer printer under a protective plastic cover.
Remove the packaging and pierce the plastic cover before microwaving.

B1 [ C ] the stiff outside part of a book or magazine, usually made of thick paper or cardboard:

Who should we put on the cover of the magazine this month?
Paperback books have soft covers.
read sth from cover to cover

to read a book, magazine, etc. all the way through from the beginning to the end

[ C ] Indian English an envelope

send sth under plain/separate cover formal

to send something in a plain/separate envelope

covers [ plural ]

the blankets, sheets, etc. on a bed:

Martha threw back the covers and bounced out of bed.

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cover noun (PROTECTION)

C1 [ U ] shelter or protection in an unpleasant or dangerous situation:

We took cover from the storm in a bus shelter.
The burglar broke into the house under cover of darkness.

[ U ] plants, especially bushes, that are used as shelter by animals

[ U ] protection by someone who has a gun:

We needed more cover from the enemy aircraft.

C1 UK US coverage [ U ] financial protection so that you get money if something bad happens:

I've got £20,000 worth of cover for the contents of my house.
Do you have cover for accidental damage?

(Definition of “cover” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“cover” in American English

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us /ˈkʌv·ər/

cover verb (PLACE OVER)

[ T ] to put or spread something over something, or to lie on the surface of something:

Once the rice comes to a boil, turn down the flame and cover the pot.
She covered the child with a blanket.

[ T ] If something covers an area of a particular size, it is equal to an area of that size:

Grand Canyon National Park covers over a million acres.

cover verb (TRAVEL)

[ T ] to travel a particular distance:

We covered 600 miles in the last two days.
fig. Her lecture covered a lot of ground, from Renaissance art to modern art.

cover verb (INCLUDE)

[ T ] to deal with or include someone or something:

The travel guide covers all the museums and historic places.

cover verb (REPORT)

[ T ] to report or write about a particular subject for a newspaper, magazine, television, or radio:

Harold covers sports for the Times, and Joan covers real-estate developments.

cover verb (BE ENOUGH)

[ T ] to be enough money to pay for:

Will $150 cover your expenses?

cover verb (PROTECT)

[ T ] to protect someone or something from financial loss, damage, accident, or having something stolen; to insure:

Our car insurance covers us up to $250,000 for personal injury.

cover verb (DO JOB)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to do a job or duty for someone who is absent:

Can you cover for me while I'm at the dentist on Monday?

cover verb (TAKE CARE OF)

[ T ] to deal with or take care of something:

Could you cover the phones while I’m away from the office?


us /ˈkʌv·ər/

cover noun (SHELTER)

[ U ] shelter or protection, esp. in a dangerous situation:

Folks heard the storm was coming and took cover.

cover noun (PLACE OVER)

[ C ] something that is placed over something, often for protection, or that lies over something else to form a layer:

I keep my computer printer under a plastic cover.

[ C ] The cover of a book or magazine is the stiff, outside part of it, usually made of thick paper or cardboard.

[ C ] A cover is also a layer of a material used to keep a person in bed warm:

[ pl ] On cold days, she pulled the covers up to her chin.

(Definition of “cover” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“cover” in Business English

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uk /ˈkʌvər/ us

[ T ] to include or deal with something:

The seminars cover such topics as making an impact at interview, employability, and what companies are looking for.
Have I covered all your questions?

COMMERCE to serve customers in a particular area:

Our delivery service covers the entire metropolitan area.

[ T ] FINANCE to be enough money to pay for something:

My wife earns enough to cover the mortgage.
We only sold enough to cover our costs - we made no profit at all.
The amount was not sufficient to cover all his debts.
The government's guarantee will cover the first £50,000 of people's savings.

[ I or T ] INSURANCE to protect someone or something against loss, damage, accident, etc., by insurance:

The policy covers employee and public liability, equipment loss, materials, and personal accidents.
cover (sb) against/for sth In general, buildings insurance covers (you) against damage to the house itself and outbuildings such as conservatories and greenhouses.

[ T ] to protect yourself from being blamed for something:

cover yourself (against something) Always inform a senior colleague of your intentions, in order to cover yourself against accusations of bullying.

[ T ] FINANCE if a financial organization can cover a loan, it is protected against loss by having enough collateral (= property that a person borrowing money agrees to give to the organization if they fail to pay the debt):

The approval for a home equity loan is usually easy as the lender has collateral to cover the loan amount.

[ T ] FINANCE, STOCK MARKET to buy shares, currency, etc. that you have arranged to sell in the future, especially if the price is rising and you had expected it to go down:

Tokyo stocks advanced 1.1% Thursday as futures rose and investors scrambled to cover short positions.

[ I or T ] HR to do someone else's job when they are absent:

cover (for sb) We are expected to cover for each other if someone is absent or is late arriving in the morning.
While he was on sick leave, a colleague covered his job.


uk /ˈkʌvər/ us

[ C ] the stiff outside part of a book or magazine:

She became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week.

[ U ] UK also insurance cover, US coverage INSURANCE financial protection against loss, damage, injury, etc., which an insurance company sells:

health/liability/life/travel cover A firm employing staff needs to have employers' liability cover.
buy/get/take out cover (for/against sth) Homeworkers can get insurance cover for copiers and faxes but premium costs vary widely.
provide cover (for/against sth) The policy provides cover for loss or damage to property owned by the insured.
For a small additional premium, you can increase this cover to £100,000.

[ U ] FINANCE the fact of being enough to pay for something:

The property that is being offered as collateral will be sufficient cover for the loan amount.

[ U ] HR the situation in which someone does someone else's job when they are absent:

Employees need cover for days they have to stay home to care for sick children.

(Definition of “cover” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)