[ kuhv-uh-nuhnt ]
/ ˈkʌv ə nənt /
See synonyms for: covenant / covenants on


verb (used without object)

to enter into a covenant.

verb (used with object)

to promise by covenant; pledge.
to stipulate.



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Origin of covenant

1250–1300; Middle English <Anglo-French, Old French, noun use of present participle of covenir<Latin convenīre to come together, agree; see -ant


cov·e·nan·tal [kuhv-uh-nan-tl], /ˌkʌv əˈnæn tl/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for covenant

  • But this begs the question, precisely, of how to understand the covenantal mission and how to engender it.

    Skin In The Game|Bernard Avishai|July 16, 2012|DAILY BEAST
  • Cooper , for example, discusses her ideas on the relevance of covenantal relationships for nursing ethics.

    Nursing as Caring|Anne Boykin
  • Entering these covenantal relationships obligates us to mutually live and grow in caring.

    Nursing as Caring|Anne Boykin

British Dictionary definitions for covenant (1 of 2)

/ (ˈkʌvənənt) /


a binding agreement; contract
  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
(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)

Derived forms of covenant

covenantal (ˌkʌvəˈnæntəl), adjectivecovenantally, adverb

Word Origin for covenant

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

British Dictionary definitions for covenant (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkʌvənənt) /


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)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for covenant


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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.