"hidden, private, secret, concealed," c. 1300, from Old French covert (Modern French couvert) "hidden, obscure, underhanded," literally "covered," past participle of covrir "to cover" (see cover (v.)). Related: Covertly.
Entries linking to covert
mid-12c., "protect or defend from harm," from Old French covrir "to cover, protect, conceal, dissemble" (12c., Modern French couvrir), from Late Latin coperire, from Latin cooperire "to cover over, overwhelm, bury," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + operire "to close, cover," from PIE compound *op-wer-yo-, from *op- "over" (see epi-) + root *wer- (4) "to cover."
Sense of "to hide or screen" is from c. 1300, that of "to put something over (something else)" is from early 14c. Sense of "spread (something) over the entire extent of a surface" is from late 14c. Military sense of "aim at" is from 1680s; newspaper sense first recorded 1893; use in U.S. football dates from 1907. Betting sense "place a coin of equal value on another" is by 1857. Of a horse or other large male animal, as a euphemism for "copulate with" it dates from 1530s.
Meaning "to include, embrace, comprehend" is by 1868. Meaning "to pass or travel over, move through" is from 1818. Sense of "be equal to, be of the same extent or amount, compensate for" is by 1828. Sense of "take charge of in place of an absent colleague" is attested by 1970.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cover."
It forms all or part of: aperitif; apertive; aperture; barbican; cover; covert; curfew; discover; garage; garment; garnish; garret; garrison; guarantee; guaranty; kerchief; landwehr; operculum; overt; overture; pert; warn; warrant; warrantee; warranty; warren; wat; Wehrmacht; weir.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vatah "enclosure," vrnoti "covers, wraps, shuts;" Lithuanian užveriu, užverti "to shut, to close;" Old Persian *pari-varaka "protective;" Latin (op)erire "to cover," (ap)erire "open, uncover" (with ap- "off, away"); Old Church Slavonic vora "sealed, closed," vreti "shut;" Old Irish feronn "field," properly "enclosed land;" Old English wer "dam, fence, enclosure," German Wehr "defense, protection," Gothic warjan "to defend, protect."
updated on April 27, 2018