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With one's true identity being kept a secret. Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. Under cover of darkness, the thieves entered the orchard and stole as much fruit as they could carry. Tabloids often publish false or misleading stories they say are based on testimony of sources who are "under cover of anonymity," which is really just code for "completely fictitious."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Protected by a shelter, as in It began to pour but fortunately we were under cover. [c. 1400]
2. under cover of. Also, under the cover of. Hidden or protected by, as in They sneaked out under cover of darkness, or, as it was put in a sermon in 1751: "Presumption which loves to conceal itself under the cover of humility" (John Jortin, Sermons on Different Subjects).
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.
1 pretending to be somebody else in order to do something secretly: a police officer working under cover
2 under a structure that gives protection from the weather: We’d better get under cover or we’ll get very wet in this rain.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. In an enclosure for mailing.
2. Being hidden or protected, as by darkness.
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.