Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

cover all bases

To be well-prepared for every possible outcome. We need to cover all bases here—check every office and make sure it's been evacuated. I know I don't have the best grades, so I covered all bases by applying to 15 colleges.
See also: all, bases, cover

cover (one's) feet

A Biblical euphemism for defecation. (While positioned in that act, one's robe would cover one's feet.) A: "Where is Joe?" B: "Oh, he's in the restroom, probably covering his feet, if you know what I mean."
See also: cover, feet

under the covers

1. Literally, in one's bed. I'm not going out tonight—I'm already in my pajamas and under the covers!
2. In consort with another, usually secretly (and perhaps scandalously). They may represent different parties, but I think those two politicians are under the covers together. The way he keeps looking at her makes me wonder if they're under the covers together.
See also: covers

cover a lot of ground

1. To travel a long distance. The phrase often refers to a portion of a longer journey. Even though we covered a lot of ground on the first day of our road trip, we still have many miles to go.
2. To review a large amount of information or discuss many topics. We need to cover a lot of ground in American History before the exam date.
See also: cover, ground, lot, of

cover a multitude of sins

To conceal things that are unattractive or problematic. I need to wear a girdle to cover a multitude of sins. New drywall will cover a multitude of sins in the kitchen.
See also: cover, multitude, of, sin

cover all the bases

To account for or provide a way to address every possible outcome, scenario, contingency, etc. We need to cover all the bases here—the investigation should explore every avenue. I covered all the bases by applying to 15 colleges.
See also: all, bases, cover

cover (the) ground

1. To move across an area at an acceptable speed. I think we can count on that racehorse to cover the ground.
2. To complete something in a particular manner or review a certain amount of information or discuss a certain number of topics. It is a lot of work, but I'm confident that Bill will cover the ground well. We need to cover a lot of ground in American History before the exam date.
See also: cover, ground

cover up

1. verb To place a covering on someone or something, as for protection. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cover" and "up." Let me just cover up these leftovers so you can take them with you. I'm so fair-skinned that I have to cover myself up before spending time in the sun.
2. To clothe oneself. I'll answer the door in a moment, I just need to cover up first.
3. verb To conceal the evidence of one's (usually nefarious) actions. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cover" and "up." I just know that the CEO is covering something up—why else would those documents suddenly go missing? The administration is clearly trying to cover up the scandal.
4. noun The act of concealing the evidence of nefarious actions. When used as a noun, the phrase is typically hyphenated or written as one word. Their cover-up unraveled when the CEO's secretary confessed to his wrongdoing. The administration is clearly engaging in a coverup to hide the scandal.
5. noun An article of clothing worn over other clothing, such as a bathing suit. When used as a noun, the phrase is typically hyphenated. Once it got breezy on the beach, I put my cover-up back on.
See also: cover, up

duck and cover

1. To crouch and hide. If they start throwing water balloons at us, duck and cover!
2. To evade something, often a question that one does not want to answer. If you continue to duck and cover at town hall meetings, your constituents' anger will only grow.
See also: and, cover, duck

cover a lot of ground

1. Lit. to travel over a great distance; to investigate a wide expanse of land. The prospectors covered a lot of ground, looking for gold. My car can cover a lot of ground in one day.
2. Fig. to deal with much information and many facts. The history lecture covered a lot of ground today.
See also: cover, ground, lot, of

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.
See also: cover, up

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.
See also: cover, up

duck and cover

1. . Lit. to bend down and seek protection against an attack. When the gunfire started, we had to duck and cover or get killed.
2. Fig. to dodge something, such as an issue or a difficult question, and attempt to shield oneself against similar issues or questions. The candidate's first reaction to the question was to duck and cover. The debaters were ducking and covering throughout the evening.
See also: and, cover, duck

cover up

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]
See also: cover, up

cover a lot of ground

If something such as a conversation, a piece of writing or a course covers a lot of ground, it deals with a lot of subjects or a large area of a subject. Chapters 3 and 4 have covered a lot of ground in attempting to explain what marketing is about. The workshops cover a lot of ground in one day, taking for granted that people know how to use their sewing machines.
See also: cover, ground, lot, of

cover a multitude of sins


hide a multitude of sins

If something covers a multitude of sins or hides a multitude of sins, it hides a lot of mistakes or things that are unpleasant or unattractive. `Strong, centralized government' is a term that can cover a multitude of sins. Wood is great for hiding a multitude of sins — rough, bumpy walls, pipes, and even wallpaper you can't face stripping. Note: This expression is used humorously.
See also: cover, multitude, of, sin

cover a multitude of sins

conceal or gloss over a lot of problems or defects.
This phrase refers to 1 Peter 4:8: ‘For charity shall cover the multitude of sins’.
See also: cover, multitude, of, sin

cover/hide a ˌmultitude of ˈsins

(often humorous) used to say that something is not as good as it looks, sounds, etc: The term ‘abstract art’ covers a multitude of sins.A coat of paint can hide a multitude of sins.This expression comes from the Bible. A multitude is a very large number of things.
See also: cover, hide, multitude, of, sin

cover up

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.
See also: cover, up

duck and cover

Seek shelter. If you attended elementary or secondary school during the 1950s and '60s, you will remember air raid drills practiced in the anticipation of nuclear attack. At the teacher's command “duck and cover,” you would stop whatever you were doing, drop down under your desk or against a wall, and assuming a fetal position, interlace the fingers of both hands behind your neck in a “covering” pose. How effective the technique would have been would have depended how far away from the atomic or hydrogen bomb blast's heat, shock waves, and radiation the school was. In any event, defense authorities thought everyone should do something in case of a nuclear attack. In those days, schoolkids did what they were told, so they ducked and covered.
See also: and, cover, duck
References in classic literature ?
He struck the middle of Menelaus's shield with his spear but could not pierce it, and to save his life drew back under cover of his men, looking round him on every side lest he should be wounded.
He kept stepping forward under cover of his shield in every direction, making trial of the ranks to see if they would give way before him, but he could not daunt the courage of the Achaeans.
Quickly he unlocked the cover, turning it back upon its hinge.
If it had been the purpose of some enemy to delay him, he had succeeded well, thought Carthoris, as he unlocked the cover of the second dial the first having shown that its pointer had not been set at all.
interrupted the discontented trapper, who began to grow a little uneasy that his party was all this time neglecting to seek the protection of some cover.
Come forth from your cover, friend," he continued, in the language of the extensive tribes of the Dahcotahs; "there is room on the prairie for another warrior.
Early in their career, just two years after the sweethearts were married, Marge and Gower Champion were on the cover of Dance Magazine.
Insurers whose sales and distribution are highly dependent on agents and brokers will have to cover those third parties in independent testing programs.
Treasury and IRS officials have informally stated that this provision is meant to cover only advice that unequivocally tells a client not to engage in a transaction.
Chemical attack on covers is dependent on a number of things, only one of which is compatibility of the cover type and material with the prevalent chemical environment.
where more than a third of his 322 Post covers originated.
IGIA manufacturers and sells its proprietary Instant Cover cosmetic product to licensed direct marketers worldwide.
Every time you dedicate your cover to a musician or actor (which is about half the time, by my count), you send a message to young, would-be-black novelists and short story writers that even a magazine dedicated to black books reveres its recording artists more than its writers," wrote Ms.
ISBN: 0-933887-76-0 (ARMA) Soft cover, English, 128 pages, 1998 Catalog No.