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From Middle English, borrowed from Old French coverture, from covrir (to cover) or from Late Latin coopertura. Doublet of couverture.


coverture (countable and uncountable, plural covertures)

  1. (law, historical) A common law doctrine developed in England during the Middle Ages, whereby a woman's legal existence, upon marriage, was subsumed by that of her husband, particularly with regard to ownership of property and protection.
  2. Alternative spelling of couverture
  3. Shelter, hiding place.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3 Scene 1
      URSULA. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
      Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
      And greedily devour the treacherous bait:
      So angle we for Beatrice; who even now
      Is couched in the woodbine coverture.

Related termsEdit

Old FrenchEdit


From Late Latin coopertūra, from Latin coopertus; equivalent to covert +‎ -ure, from covrir (to cover).


coverture f (oblique plural covertures, nominative singular coverture, nominative plural covertures)

  1. covering; cover