1 verb (T)
1 PUT STH OVER STH also cover up to put something over the top of something in order to hide or protect it: Cover the pan when the sauce boils and let it simmer. | cover sth with sth: They covered the tables with clean white cloths.
2 BE OVER STH to be on top of something or spread over something: Colourful pictures covered the walls. | be covered with sth: If it carries on snowing the ground will be covered by morning. | be covered in sth: The children were covered in paint.
3 AN AREA to spread over an area: The city covers 25 square miles.
4 DISTANCE to travel a particular distance: They were hoping to cover 40 miles yesterday. | cover a lot of ground (=travel a long way): We covered a lot of ground during those two weeks in Spain.
5 DEAL WITH/INCLUDE to include or deal with something: The course covers all aspects of business and law. | Most of the key points are covered in this book. | This scheme would cover only a few of the three million people without jobs. | development officers whose work would cover a local area
6 RULES to deal with a particular situation: The rules, while they cover a wide range of issues, do not cover every possible situation.
7 NEWS to report the details of an event for a newspaper, television, or radio: Simonson was sent to Switzerland to cover the Winter Olympics.
8 PAY FOR STH money that covers a cost is enough to pay for it: He should get enough money from the council to cover his rent. | cover the cost of sth: You will have to pay an extra amount to cover the cost of insurance.
9 INSURANCE if an insurance agreement covers someone or something, it states that money will be given to the person if they are injured, if something is damaged etc: The policy will cover any medical expenses that you incur while you are abroad. | cover sb against sth: We're not covered against theft.
a) to protect someone by being ready to shoot anyone who attacks them: We'll cover you while you run for it.
b) to aim a gun at a person, or the door of a building with people in it, so that they cannot escape: Don't move - we've got you covered. | The police had the back entrance covered.
11 SPORT to stay close to a member of the opposing team or a part of the field in a game, in order to prevent your opponents from gaining points: Who's covering second base?
12 cover for sb
a) to do the work that someone else usually does because they are ill or not present: Who's going to cover for you when you're on holiday?
b) to prevent someone from getting into trouble by lying, especially about where they are or what they are doing: Cover for me, will you? Just say I'm at the dentist's.
13 cover (all) the bases AmE to be prepared to deal with any situation, and be sure that nothing bad will happen and no one can criticize you: Just be sure to cover all your bases if you join in their business venture.
14 cover your back BrE spoken to be careful to do nothing that would make people criticize you
cover up phrasal verb
1 (transitive cover something up) to put something over the top of something in order to hide it or protect it: She put a cloth over the floor to cover up the mess.
2 (transitive cover something up) to prevent mistakes or unpleasant facts from being known about: The whole thing was very well covered up and never reached the newspapers.
-see also: cover-up
3 cover up for sb to protect someone by hiding unpleasant facts about them: They covered up for Kirk by refusing to answer any of the questions.
4 (I) to put clothes on in order to keep warm or to prevent people from seeing your body: Cover up well against the cold.
5 cover yourself up to put clothes, sheets etc over yourself so that your body is covered: Some religions require that women cover themselves up completely.
2 noun
1 STH THAT PROTECTS STH (C) something that is put over or onto something to protect it or keep dirt etc out: a cushion cover | Put a cover over the bowl.
2 BOOKS (C) the outer front or back page of a magazine, book etc: a picture of President Clinton on the cover of Newsweek | read sth from cover to cover (=read everything in a book, magazine etc)
3 SHELTER/PROTECTION (U) shelter or protection from bad weather or attack: The soldiers ran for cover when the shooting began. | take cover (=find shelter or protection): Come on, we can take cover in that barn over there! | break cover (=come out from the place where you have been sheltered or protected)
4 covers (plural) the sheets, blankets etc on a bed: The covers had slipped off the bed during the night.
5 INSURANCE (U) insurance against injury, damage etc: The policy gives you temporary medical cover for your holiday.
(+ against): cover against fire and theft
6 a cover for a business that seems normal and honest, but is really used to hide illegal activities: He used the shop as a cover for various illegal activities.
7 under cover pretending to be someone else in order to do something without being noticed: She was working under cover to get information on the drug dealers.
8 under cover of darkness hidden by darkness: They escaped under cover of darkness.
9 under plain cover/under separate cover if a letter etc is sent under plain cover or under separate cover, it is sent in a plain envelope or a separate envelope: The bill will be sent to you later under separate cover.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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