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cover for (someone or something)
1. To hide one's wrongdoings from someone else. In this usage, the phrase can also be written as "cover up for." If I sneak out and go to the party tonight, will you cover for me? Just tell mom I went to bed early or something.
2. To do something in place of someone else. I'm working today because I'm covering for Joanna, who's on vacation.
3. To provide insurance against a problem or scenario. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cover" and "for." Does our homeowner's insurance cover the house for flood damage?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cover (up) for someone
to conceal someone's wrongdoing by lying or concealing the evidence of wrongdoing. Are you covering up for the person who committed the crime? I wouldn't cover for anyone.
cover someone or something for something
[for an insurer] to provide protection to someone or something for a particular price. One company will cover the car for about a thousand dollars. This policy covers you for a few dollars a week.
cover for someone
1. to make excuses for someone; to conceal someone's errors. If I miss class, please cover for me. If you're late, I'll cover for you.
2. to handle someone else's work. Dr. Johnson's partner agreed to cover for him during his vacation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Also, cover up for. Conceal a wrongdoing or wrongdoer, as in Bill was supposed to be on duty but went to a ballgame and Alan agreed to cover for him or I covered up for my friend when her mother called to find out where she was. [1960s] Also see cover up, def. 2.
2. Substitute for someone, act on someone's behalf, as in Mary was asked to cover for Joe while he was on jury duty. [c. 1970]
3. cover for something. Provide protection against some hazard, as in This policy covers the house for fire but not for theft. This idiom employs the verb to cover in the sense of "protect" or "shield," a usage dating from the 13th century.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.