What are synonyms for taking cover?

Is there a word that means "running to shelter or refuge to save myself from incoming pain or trouble"?

I want to use it in these contexts:

Taking cover time.

Time to take cover.

  • Any particular context or application? Is this for a warning 'take cover!' or a description 'he took cover'? For what kind of writing...a story, news, instructions?
    – Mitch
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 12:17
  • 'Taking cover time' sounds weird (though logically OK). Its natural to want to parse it as 'taking (cover time)' and 'cover time' really isn't a thing. So 'Time to take cover' would be preferred.
    – Mitch
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 13:31

4 Answers 4


How about "taking refuge," "going into hiding" or "laying low."

  • "Refuge" is a good synonym for "cover" in OP's context, but I think either expression would normally imply evasive/protective action of relatively brief duration. Your other two suggestions both imply something done over a more extended period. Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 14:59

You have actually mentioned a pretty useful word already -- shelter, which has the meaning you were looking for.

I think you probably might want to use its verb form.

e.g. shelter sb/sth from sb/sth

Sample sentence:

We sat in the shade, sheltering from the sun.


There is a phrase with the meaning you have asked for

"Make oneself scarce"

Cambridge defines it as

make yourself scarce


to go away from a difficult situation in order to avoid trouble

Dad's really angry with you, so you'd better make yourself scarce.

As a single word, I would suggest hide or one of it's synonyms which mean taking cover.

However, I also see scram listed as a synonym of "make oneself scarce" which may apply in this case. Scram means "leave abruptly" but when you say "Lets scram" it usually implies trouble is round the corner

to leave a place very quickly, especially so that you do not get caught

  • They don't really mean the same thing. To make yourself scarce means to go elsewhere (often, so you won't be found). To take cover means either to hide or (more often) get behind some [nearby] protective barrier/screen, but it invariably implies you'll remain in the vicinity. Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 14:51

Try entrench or barricade with a reflexive pronoun—barricade yourself time. Reflexives don't always sound good in English, but they are used extensively in other languages, like Portuguese.

Why don't you drop the verb take. Call it cover time or bunker time.

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