Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Couvade (kō`vȧd") noun [ French, from couver . See Covey .] A custom, among certain barbarous tribes, that when a woman gives birth to a child her husband takes to his bed, as if ill.

The world-wide custom of the couvade , where at childbirth the husband undergoes medical treatment, in many cases being put to bed for days.
Tylor.

Couveuse noun [ French] (Medicine) An incubator for sickly infants, esp. those prematurely born.

Covariant noun (Higher Alg.) A function involving the coefficients and the variables of a quantic, and such that when the quantic is lineally transformed the same function of the new variables and coefficients shall be equal to the old function multiplied by a factor. An invariant is a like function involving only the coefficients of the quantic.

Cove (kōv) noun [ Anglo-Saxon cofa room; akin to G. koben pigsty, orig., hut, Icelandic kofi hut, and perhaps to English cobalt .]


1. A retired nook; especially, a small, sheltered inlet, creek, or bay; a recess in the shore.

Vessels which were in readiness for him within secret coves and nooks.
Holland.

2. A strip of prairie extending into woodland; also, a recess in the side of a mountain. [ U.S.]

3. (Architecture) (a) A concave molding. (b) A member, whose section is a concave curve, used especially with regard to an inner roof or ceiling, as around a skylight.

Cove transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Coved (k?vd); present participle & verbal noun Coving .] (Architecture) To arch over; to build in a hollow concave form; to make in the form of a cove.

The mosques and other buildings of the Arabians are rounded into domes and coved roofs.
H. Swinburne.

Coved ceiling , a ceiling, the part of which next the wail is constructed in a cove. -- Coved vault , a vault composed of four coves meeting in a central point, and therefore the reverse of a groined vault.

Cove transitive verb [ CF. F. couver , Italian covare . See Covey .] To brood, cover, over, or sit over, as birds their eggs. [ Obsolete]

Not being able to cove or sit upon them [ eggs], she [ the female tortoise] bestoweth them in the gravel.
Holland.

Cove noun [ A gypsy word, covo that man, covi that woman.] A boy or man of any age or station. [ Slang]

There's a gentry cove here.
Wit's Recreations (1654).

Now, look to it, coves , that all the beef and drink
Be not filched from us.
Mrs. Browning.

Covelline noun [ After Covelli , the discoverer.] (Min.) A native sulphide of copper, occuring in masses of a dark blue color; -- hence called indigo copper .

Covenable adjective [ Old French covenable , F. convenable . See Covenant .] Fit; proper; suitable. [ Obsolete] "A covenable day." Wyclif (Mark vi. 21).

Covenably adverb Fitly; suitably. [ Obsolete] "Well and covenably ." Chaucer.

Covenant noun [ Old French covenant , from F. & Old French convenir to agree, Latin convenire . See Convene .]


1. A mutual agreement of two or more persons or parties, or one of the stipulations in such an agreement.

Then Jonathan and David made a covenant .
1 Sam. xviiii. 3.

Let there be covenants drawn between us.
Shak.

If we conclude a peace,
It shall be with such strict and severe covenants
As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.
Shak.

2. (Eccl. Hist.) An agreement made by the Scottish Parliament in 1638, and by the English Parliament in 1643, to preserve the reformed religion in Scotland, and to extirpate popery and prelacy; -- usually called the "Solemn League and Covenant."

He [ Wharton] was born in the days of the Covenant , and was the heir of a covenanted house.
Macaulay.

3. (Theol.) The promises of God as revealed in the Scriptures, conditioned on certain terms on the part of man, as obedience, repentance, faith, etc.

I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant , to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
Gen. xvii. 7.

4. A solemn compact between members of a church to maintain its faith, discipline, etc.

5. (Law) (a) An undertaking, on sufficient consideration, in writing and under seal, to do or to refrain from some act or thing; a contract; a stipulation; also, the document or writing containing the terms of agreement. (b) A form of action for the violation of a promise or contract under seal.

Syn. -- Agreement; contract; compact; bargain; arrangement; stipulation. -- Covenant , Contract , Compact , Stipulation . These words all denote a mutual agreement between two parties. Covenant is frequently used in a religious sense; as, the covenant of works or of grace; a church covenant ; the Solemn League and Covenant . Contract is the word most used in the business of life. Crabb and Taylor are wrong in saying that a contract must always be in writing. There are oral and implied contracts as well as written ones, and these are equally enforced by law. In legal usage, the word covenant has an important place as connected with contracts. A compact is only a stronger and more solemn contract. The term is chiefly applied to political alliances. Thus, the old Confederation was a compact between the States. Under the present Federal Constitution, no individual State can, without consent of Congress, enter into a compact with any other State or foreign power. A stipulation is one of the articles or provisions of a contract.

Covenant intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Covenanted ; present participle & verbal noun Covenanting .] To agree (with); to enter into a formal agreement; to bind one's self by contract; to make a stipulation.

Jupiter covenanted with him, that it should be hot or cold, wet or dry, . . . as the tenant should direct.
L'Estrange.

And they covenanted with him for thyrty pieces of silver.
Matt. xxvi. 15.

Syn. -- To agree; contract; bargain; stipulate.

Covenant transitive verb To grant or promise by covenant.

My covenant of peace that I covenanted with you.
Wyclif.

Covenantee noun (Law) The person in whose favor a covenant is made.

Covenanter noun
1. One who makes a covenant.

2. (Eccl. Hist.) One who subscribed and defended the "Solemn League and Covenant." See Covenant .

Covenanting adjective Belonging to a covenant. Specifically, belonging to the Scotch Covenanters.

Be they covenanting traitors,
Or the brood of false Argyle?
Aytoun.

Covenantor noun (Law) The party who makes a covenant. Burrill.

Covenous adjective See Covinous , and Covin .

Covent noun [ Old French covent , French couvent . See Convent .] A convent or monastery. [ Obsolete] Bale.

Covent Garden , a large square in London, so called because originally it was the garden of a monastery.

Coventry noun A town in the county of Warwick, England.

To send to Coventry , to exclude from society; to shut out from social intercourse, as for ungentlemanly conduct. -- Coventry blue , blue thread of a superior dye, made at Coventry, England, and used for embroidery.

Cover transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Covered (-?rd); present participle & verbal noun Covering .] [ Old French covrir , French couvrir , from Latin cooperire ; co- + operire to cover; probably from ob towards, over + the root appearing in aperire to open. Confer Aperient , Overt , Curfew .]
1. To overspread the surface of (one thing) with another; as, to cover wood with paint or lacquer; to cover a table with a cloth.

2. To envelop; to clothe, as with a mantle or cloak.

And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers his throne.
Milton.

All that beauty than doth cover thee.
Shak.

3. To invest (one's self with something); to bring upon (one's self); as, he covered himself with glory.

The powers that covered themselves with everlasting infamy by the partition of Poland.
Brougham.

4. To hide sight; to conceal; to cloak; as, the enemy were covered from our sight by the woods.

A cloud covered the mount.
Exod. xxiv. 15.

In vain shou striv'st to cover shame with shame.
Milton.

5. To brood or sit on; to incubate.

While the hen is covering her eggs, the male . . . diverts her with his songs.
Addison.

6. To overwhelm; to spread over.

The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen.
Ex. xiv. 28.

7. To shelter, as from evil or danger; to protect; to defend; as, the cavalry covered the retreat.

His calm and blameless life
Does with substantial blessedness abound,
And the soft wings of peace cover him round.
Cowley.

8. To remove from remembrance; to put away; to remit. "Blessed is he whose is covered ." Ps. xxxii. 1.

9. To extend over; to be sufficient for; to comprehend, include, or embrace; to account for or solve; to counterbalance; as, a mortgage which fully covers a sum loaned on it; a law which covers all possible cases of a crime; receipts than do not cover expenses.

10. To put the usual covering or headdress on.

Cover thy head . . . ; nay, prithee, be covered .
Shak.

11. To copulate with (a female); to serve; as, a horse covers a mare; -- said of the male.

To cover ground or distance , to pass over; as, the rider covered the ground in an hour. -- To cover one's short contracts (Stock Exchange) , to buy stock when the market rises, as a dealer who has sold short does in order to protect himself. -- Covering party (Mil.) , a detachment of troops sent for the protection of another detachment, as of men working in the trenches. -- To cover into , to transfer to; as, to cover into the treasury.

Syn. -- To shelter; screen; shield; hide; overspread.

Cover noun
1. Anything which is laid, set, or spread, upon, about, or over, another thing; an envelope; a lid; as, the cover of a book.

2. Anything which veils or conceals; a screen; disguise; a cloak. "Under cover of the night." Macaulay.

A handsome cover for imperfections.
Collier.

3. Shelter; protection; as, the troops fought under cover of the batteries; the woods afforded a good cover .

Being compelled to lodge in the field . . . whilst his army was under cover , they might be forced to retire.
Clarendon.

4. (Hunting) The woods, underbrush, etc., which shelter and conceal game; covert; as, to beat a cover ; to ride to cover .

5. That portion of a slate, tile, or shingle, which is hidden by the overlap of the course above. Knight.

6. (Steam Engine) The lap of a slide valve.

7. [ Confer French couvert .] A tablecloth, and the other table furniture; esp., the table furniture for the use of one person at a meal; as, covers were laid for fifty guests.

To break cover , to start from a covert or lair; -- said of game. -- Under cover , in an envelope, or within a letter; -- said of a written message.

Letters . . . dispatched under cover to her ladyship.
Thackeray.

Cover intransitive verb To spread a table for a meal; to prepare a banquet. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Cover crop A catch crop planted, esp. in orchards. as a protection to the soil in winter, as well as for the benefit of the soil when plowed under in spring.

Cover-point (-point!) noun The fielder in the games of cricket and lacrosse who supports "point."

Cover-shame noun Something used to conceal infamy. [ Obsolete] Dryden.

Coverage noun The aggregate of risks covered by the terms of a contract of insurance.

Coverchief (chēf) noun [ See Kerchief .] A covering for the head. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Covercle noun [ Old French covercle , French couvercle , from Latin coöperculum from coöperire . See cover ] A small cover; a lid. [ > Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

Covered adjective Under cover; screened; sheltered; not exposed; hidden.

Covered way (Fort.) , a corridor or banquette along the top of the counterscarp and covered by an embankment whose slope forms the glacis. It gives the garrison an open line of communication around the works, and a standing place beyond the ditch. See Illust. of Ravelin .

Coverer noun One who, or that which, covers.

Covering noun Anything which covers or conceals, as a roof, a screen, a wrapper, clothing, etc.

Noah removed the covering of the ark.
Gen. viii. 13.

They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold.
Job. xxiv. 7.

A covering over the well's mouth.
2 Sam. xvii. 19.

Coverlet noun [ French couvre-lit ; couvrir to cover + lit bed, from Latin lectus bed. See Cover .] The uppermost cover of a bed or of any piece of furniture.

Lay her in lilies and in violets . . .
And odored sheets and arras coverlets .
Spenser.

Coverlid (-lĭd) noun A coverlet.

All the coverlid was cloth of gold.
Tennyson.

Coversed sine (k?-v?rst" s?n`). [ Co- (= co- in co- sine) + versed sine .] (Geom.) The versed sine of the complement of an arc or angle. See Illust. of Functions .

Coverside noun A region of country having covers; a hunting country.

Covert adjective [ Old French covert , F. couvert , past participle of couvrir . See Cover , transitive verb ]
1. Covered over; private; hid; secret; disguised.

How covert matters may be best disclosed.
Shak.

Whether of open war or covert guile.
Milton

2. Sheltered; not open or exposed; retired; protected; as, a covert nook. Wordsworth.

Of either side the green, to plant a covert alley.
Bacon.

3. (Law) Under cover, authority or protection; as, a feme covert , a married woman who is considered as being under the protection and control of her husband.

Covert way , (Fort.) See Covered way , under Covered .

Syn. -- Hidden; secret; private; covered; disguised; insidious; concealed. See Hidden .

Covert noun [ Old French See Covert , adjective ]
1. A place that covers and protects; a shelter; a defense.

A tabernacle . . . for a covert from storm.
Is. iv. 6.

The highwayman has darted from his covered by the wayside.
Prescott.

2. [ Confer French couverte .] (Zoology) One of the special feathers covering the bases of the quills of the wings and tail of a bird. See Illust. of Bird .

Covert baron (b?r`?n). (Law) Under the protection of a husband; married. Burrill.

Covertly adverb Secretly; in private; insidiously.

Covertness noun Secrecy; privacy. [ R.]

Coverture noun [ Old French coverture ,F. couverture .]
1. Covering; shelter; defense; hiding.

Protected by walls or other like coverture .
Woodward.

Beatrice, who even now
Is couched in the woodbine coverture .
Shak.

2. (Law) The condition of a woman during marriage, because she is considered under the cover, influence, power, and protection of her husband, and therefore called a feme covert , or femme couverte .

Covet transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Covered ; present participle & verbal noun Coveting .] [ Old French coveitier , covoitier , French convoiter , from a derivative from Latin cupere to desire; confer Sanskrit kup to become excited. Confer Cupidity .]


1. To wish for with eagerness; to desire possession of; -- used in a good sense.

Covet earnestly the best gifts.
1. Cor. xxii. 31.

If it be a sin to covet honor,
I am the most offending soul alive.
Shak.

2. To long for inordinately or unlawfully; to hanker after (something forbidden).

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.
Ex. xx. 17.

Syn. -- To long for; desire; hanker after; crave.

Covet intransitive verb To have or indulge inordinate desire.

Which [ money] while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith.
1 Tim. vi. 10.

Covetable adjective That may be coveted; desirable.

Coveter noun One who covets.

Covetise noun [ Old French coveitise , F. convoitise . See Covet , transitive verb ] Avarice. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

Covetiveness noun (Phren.) Acquisitiveness.

Covetous adjective [ Old French coveitos , F. convoiteux . See Covet , transitive verb ]
1. Very desirous; eager to obtain; -- used in a good sense. [ Archaic]

Covetous of wisdom and fair virtue.
Shak.

Covetous death bereaved us all,
To aggrandize one funeral.
Emerson.

2. Inordinately desirous; excessively eager to obtain and possess (esp. money); avaricious; -- in a bad sense.

The covetous person lives as if the world were madealtogether for him, and not he for the world.
South.

Syn. -- Avaricious; parsimonious; penurious; misrely; niggardly. See Avaricious .

Covetously adverb In a covetous manner.