break cover

Idioms & Phrases

break cover

Suddenly emerge from a hiding place, as in The shots distracted our pursuers long enough so that we could break cover and make a run for it. This term originally alluded to animals being hunted, a frequent usage in the 16th century. Now that hunting is a less common pursuit, it is used for human beings.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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