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cover someone or something up
to place something on someone or something for protection or concealment. Cover the pie up, so Terry won't see it. Cover up Jimmy so he doesn't get cold.
cover something up
1. Lit. to place some sort of cover on something. Please cover up that mess with a cloth. Cover it up.
2. Fig. to conceal a wrongdoing; to conceal evidence. They tried to cover the crime up, but the single footprint gave them away. She could not cover up her misdeeds.
cover up somethingalso cover something up
to keep something secret or hidden Others accused her of covering up her financial dealings. I was amazed that the building contractors we hired tried to cover up the problems they had.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of cover up (to put a cloth or other object over someone or something)
1. Wrap up or enfold in order to protect. For example, Be sure to cover up the outdoor furniture in case of rain, or It's cold, so be sure to cover up the baby. [Late 1800s]
2. Conceal something, especially a crime, as in The opposition accused the President of covering up his assistant's suicide. [c. 1920]
1. To spread or extend something over someone or something in order to protect or conceal: We covered up the furniture with a drop cloth before painting the walls. The children covered themselves up with leaves while playing hide and seek.
2. To conceal something, especially wrongdoing or error: The criminal tried to cover up the crime by destroying the evidence. I accidentally overcharged a customer, and my boss told me to cover it up.
3. To put on or wear clothing: My grandmother covers up before going outside to protect herself from the sun.