an agreement or promise, usually formal, between two or more people or groups to do or not do something specified.
Law. a secondary clause in a legal contract.
Ecclesiastical. a solemn agreement between the members of a Christian church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel.
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.
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.
a formal agreement of legal validity, especially one under seal.
an early English form of lawsuit involving sealed contracts.
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.
to stipulate or specify in a contract: The covenanted price has been paid.
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.
- cov·e·nan·tal [kuhv-uh-nan-tl], /ˌkʌv əˈnæn tl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use covenant in a sentence
The Bloomingdale rowhouse was central to a 1948 Supreme Court case contesting racially restrictive deed covenants.The pandemic isn’t stopping D.C.’s annual history conference | John Kelly | November 11, 2020 | Washington Post
After months of claiming Clarida was not a tenant and that their covenant was not a lease, the nonprofit had formally filed an eviction notice in landlord-tenant court.Domestic violence survivors say they were kicked out by the housing program that promised to help them | Rachel Chason, Katie Mettler | October 30, 2020 | Washington Post
We’re seeing people on both extremes who seem willing to color outside the lines, to break the covenant of democracy.
Under Asa, and also under Josiah, the people in their civil capacity with their rulers Covenanted too.
We are warranted to maintain that what was Covenanted before, no less than it should be performed, should be vowed again.
Noah and his family in their associate capacity Covenanted with God.
He also made them swear, and covenanted with them a second time, that they would obey his son; and he confided in their oaths.The Arabian Nights | Unknown
I have avoided these early séances; but every one knows that he is never ready for a patient at the covenanted hour after that.Adventures and Enthusiasms | E. V. Lucas
British Dictionary definitions for covenant (1 of 2)
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)
- covenantal (ˌkʌvəˈnæntəl), adjective
- covenantally, adverb
British Dictionary definitions for Covenant (2 of 2)
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.