cover (one's) tracks (up)

(redirected from cover their 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 someone's tracks (up)

to conceal one's trail; to conceal one's past activities. She was able to cover her tracks up so that they couldn't pin the charges on her. It's easy to cover up your tracks when the investigators botch their job. The robber failed to cover his tracks.
See also: cover, track
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.

cover your tracks

COMMON If someone covers their tracks, they hide or destroy evidence of what they have done or where they have been. He was a very clever man who never took a chance, a man who totally covered his tracks. The killer may have returned to the scene of the crime to cover his tracks. Note: Tracks here are footprints.
See also: cover, track
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

cover your tracks

conceal evidence of what you have done.
See also: cover, track
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cover your ˈtracks

be careful not to leave any signs of something secret or illegal that you have been doing: He didn’t want his wife to know he’d met an old girlfriend so he invented a story to cover his tracks.
See also: cover, track
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cover (one's) tracks

To conceal traces so as to elude pursuers.
See also: cover, track
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
It is also believed that they painted over a CCTV camera in a bookmakers next to the jewellers to cover their tracks.
Summary: Many believe their virtual avatars are smokescreens and it's easy to cover their tracks.
POLICE are hunting two bungling burglars who swiped security cameras in a bid "to cover their tracks" after forcing their way into an elderly woman's home.
Those behind this brutal killing didn't just take the victim's life but also tried to cover their tracks by dismembering her remains in the hope she would never be found.
AT long last, people begin to believe Cindy's claim that the Gloved Hand Killer really does exist and is bumping people off at the local hospital, just as the killer decides to cover their tracks.
DETECTIVES believe an MI6 spy found dead in a padlocked bag was killed by agents who broke back into his flat after the body was found to cover their tracks.
MURDERERS who battered their victim unconscious then torched his flat to try to cover their tracks have been jailed for life.
GERMANY: Robbers dug a 100-foot tunnel into the safe deposit room of a Berlin bank, inset, and escaped with their haul, starting a fire as they left to cover their tracks. Berlin police said the tunnel led from an underground garage into the bank's safe deposit room.
To cover their tracks, the perpetrators covered the storefront with a fabric of the same colour as the shop's sign, allowing them to steal the goods incognito.
Even if employees cover their tracks internally, there is always, as Eliot Spitzer found out, another party involved.
It particularly bothered the judge, who was appointed by George W., that several devout Christians on the Dover board, "who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and time again lie to cover their tracks and the real purpose behind the ID Policy." (Two lied under oath, though they did not swear on the Bible, which might have made a difference.)
The government postponed action on climate destabilization and tried to cover their tracks with a wishy-washy anti-pollution program.
Can closeted gay employees cover their tracks at work?
Complicit employees may attempt to cover their tracks by deleting incriminating evidence and can wreak havoc on information systems in a matter of seconds.