View synonyms for covenant


[ kuhv-uh-nuhnt ]


  1. an agreement or promise, usually formal, between two or more people or groups to do or not do something specified.

    Synonyms: convention, pact, treaty

  2. Law. a secondary clause in a legal contract.
  3. Ecclesiastical. a solemn agreement between the members of a Christian church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel.
  4. Covenant, History/Historical.
  5. Bible.
    1. any of the promises made by God at different times, such as those made to Noah, Abraham, or David and their descendants, or the new covenant inaugurated by Christ.
    2. the agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to bless and protect them if they faithfully kept the law God gave them.
  6. Law.
    1. a formal agreement of legal validity, especially one under seal.
    2. an early English form of lawsuit involving sealed contracts.

verb (used with object)

  1. to agree or promise, as in a contract or covenant; pledge (usually followed by to ):

    In our marriage vows, we covenanted to take care of each other in all circumstances.

  2. to stipulate or specify in a contract:

    The covenanted price has been paid.

verb (used without object)

  1. to enter into an agreement or covenant:

    When we take the pledge, we do not covenant with an institution or with an ideal, but with each other.



/ ˈkʌvənənt; ˌkʌvəˈnæntəl /


  1. a binding agreement; contract
  2. law
    1. an agreement in writing under seal, as to pay a stated annual sum to a charity
    2. a particular clause in such an agreement, esp in a lease
  3. (in early English law) an action in which damages were sought for breach of a sealed agreement
  4. Bible God's promise to the Israelites and their commitment to worship him alone


  1. to agree to a covenant (concerning)



/ ˈkʌvənənt /


  1. 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 )


  1. 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 .

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Derived Forms

  • covenantal, adjective
  • ˌcoveˈnantally, adverb

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Other Words From

  • cov·e·nan·tal [kuhv-, uh, -, nan, -tl], adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of covenant1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Anglo-French, Old French, noun use of convenant, covenant “agreeing, fitting,” present participle of convenir, covenir “to agree, meet, suit,” from Latin convenīre “to be suitable, come together”; convene

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Word History and Origins

Origin of covenant1

C13: from Old French, from covenir to agree, from Latin convenīre to come together, make an agreement; see convene

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Example Sentences

Our hosts were joined by Alain Stephens of The Trace, who gave a great lesson on ghost guns, and Cristina Kim of KPBS, who has reported on racially restrictive housing covenants that remain in public records.

If you look back at the deeds for Levittown and other places, you’ll find that there are covenants in them requiring the owner of a new Levittown home to mow their lawn, their yard once a week.

Toptal says three additional former employees in non-executive roles breached express covenants not to compete in their agreements with Toptal.

The SBA also considered whether it should revive an old pilot program used to fund underserved businesses via nonprofit intermediaries, or impose covenants that would bar distribution of profits until the loan had been repaid.

Racial covenants effectively maintained residential segregation without the use of explicit racial zoning.

From Time

Fed-up doctors want that too—and many have begun to reclaim the covenant between doctor and patient.

“The Covenant—which should have been nominated,” he says with a laugh.

The sacred covenant of travel dictates: always chase the new.

But MLB has a duty at least to try to live up to its contract with the players and its covenant with the public.

It has the right to regard the threat that Hamas poses as an annihilating one, given the emphatic language of its covenant.

The scene is the covenant made between the two first persons of the Trinity on Mount Moriah.

The solemn league and covenant burned by the common hangman at London, and afterwards throughout the country.

The term covenant designating their relation to him as a people is not figuratively applied to it.

Besides having parties,—one essential of a covenant in its proper acceptation, this relation with God has conditions.

Covenanting in civil life is the exercise of entering into a covenant engagement, or of renewing it.


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