cover one's tracks

cover (one's) tracks (up)

1. Literally, to conceal one's footprints, typically to avoid being followed. Those hounds can track us across rivers, so covering our tracks won't do any good.
2. To conceal the evidence of one's (usually nefarious) actions. We need to cover our tracks before someone traces the bank robbery back to us. I destroyed those incriminating documents to cover my tracks up.
See also: cover, track
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cover one's tracks

Conceal one's whereabouts, activities, intentions, or the evidence of one's involvement. For example, No one knows much about where he's been-he's very good at covering his tracks. This term transfers hiding one's footprints to more general activities. [1870s] Also see cover up, def. 2.
See also: cover, track
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.
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