- an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
- Law. an incidental clause in such an agreement.
- Ecclesiastical. a solemn agreement between the members of a church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel.
- (initial capital letter) History/Historical.
- the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
- the agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him.
- a formal agreement of legal validity, especially one under seal.
- an early English form of action in suits involving sealed contracts.
- Covenant of the League of Nations.
- to enter into a covenant.
- to promise by covenant; pledge.
- to stipulate.
Origin of covenant
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for covenant
Fed-up doctors want that too—and many have begun to reclaim the covenant between doctor and patient.The Health-Care System Is So Broken, It’s Time for Doctors to Strike
April 29, 2014
“The Covenant—which should have been nominated,” he says with a laugh.‘Lone Survivor’ Taylor Kitsch’s Journey From Homelessness to Hollywood Stardom
December 18, 2013
But MLB has a duty at least to try to live up to its contract with the players and its covenant with the public.Major League Baseball Is Right to Punish the Biogenesis Cheats
Michael Brendan Dougherty
June 6, 2013
It has the right to regard the threat that Hamas poses as an annihilating one, given the emphatic language of its covenant.Is Israel Immoral to Retaliate Against Gaza?
November 24, 2012
How, after all, do you explain a covenant to someone on the outside?The Case for Circumcision
July 3, 2012
While men are often unfaithful to their covenant, God never is.An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism
Covenant was staring right and left with great questioning eyes.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
Look upon the Covenant, for all the earth is full of darkness and cruel habitations.Lotus Buds
No love can be bound by oath or covenant to secure it against a higher love.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The covenant is Wilson's souvenir to the future of the world.Woodrow Wilson's Administration and Achievements
Frank B. Lord and James William Bryan
- a binding agreement; contract
- an agreement in writing under seal, as to pay a stated annual sum to a charity
- a particular clause in such an agreement, esp in a lease
- (in early English law) an action in which damages were sought for breach of a sealed agreement
- Bible God's promise to the Israelites and their commitment to worship him alone
- to agree to a covenant (concerning)
- Scot history any of the bonds entered into by Scottish Presbyterians to defend their religion, esp one in 1638 (National Covenant) and one of 1643 (Solemn League and Covenant)
Word Origin and History for covenant
c.1300, from Old French covenant "agreement," originally present participle of covenir "agree, meet," from Latin convenire "come together" (see convene). Applied in Scripture to God's arrangements with man as a translation of Latin testamentum, Greek diatheke, both rendering Hebrew berith (though testament also is used for the same word in different places).
c.1300, from covenant (n.). Related: Covenanted; covenanting. Covenanter (1638) was used especially in reference to Scottish Presbyterians who signed the Solemn League and Covenant (1643) for the defense and furtherance of their cause.
Literally, a contract. In the Bible (see also Bible), an agreement between God and his people, in which God makes promises to his people and, usually, requires certain conduct from them. In the Old Testament, God made agreements with Noah, Abraham, and Moses. To Noah, he promised that he would never again destroy the Earth with a flood. He promised Abraham that he would become the ancestor of a great nation, provided Abraham went to the place God showed him and sealed the covenant by circumcision of all the males of the nation. To Moses, God said that the Israelites would reach the Promised Land but must obey the Mosaic law. In the New Testament, God promised salvation (see also salvation) to those who believe in Jesus.