Definition of covenant in English:



  • 1An agreement.

    • ‘The ten commandments are the moral covenant of the Old Testament, the beatitudes the moral covenant of the New.’
    • ‘Conservation covenants will cover areas with sensitive eco-systems in the woodland and wetlands sectors.’
    • ‘Private forces and community covenants were also used to meet the challenges of brigands.’
    • ‘For traditional marriage, sex is an important, even necessary or defining component of the marriage covenant.’
    • ‘The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family.’
    • ‘And it's doubtful that decisions to ratify international covenants on the subject involve much public consideration either.’
    • ‘A marriage covenant establishes the expectations that a husband and wife have in the marriage relationship.’
    • ‘This covenant belongs to the community as much as it belongs to the man and woman who enter it.’
    • ‘These covenants and conditions run with the property.’
    • ‘I believe in the various covenants and conventions that the Government has entered into.’
    • ‘The treaty's opening clauses constituted the covenant of the League.’
    • ‘Their responsibility to uphold the covenant was both communal and individual.’
    • ‘As a third term, the covenant engages aspects of the body politic as well as the modern contract.’
    • ‘Mr. Brosovsky has since broken that covenant, but I will hold mine.’
    • ‘Already some states of America - Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana - have started a covenant marriage program.’
    • ‘When building finally did resume, the covenants were loosened considerably to generate a quick infusion of cash.’
    • ‘Maori representatives have put together some awesome proposals, such as covenants of access and non-saleability.’
    • ‘They can also lead to wasted taxpayer dollars when unaccompanied by adequate social services and anti-drug covenants.’
    • ‘In 1985 the Church Commissioners even made him sign a covenant pledging ‘to keep the clock in good working order’.’
    • ‘But the fact that he is abusing the marriage covenant does not mean the marriage covenant does not exist.’
    contract, compact, treaty, pact, accord, deal, bargain, settlement, concordat, protocol, entente, agreement, arrangement, understanding, pledge, promise, bond, indenture, guarantee, warrant
    undertaking, commitment
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    1. 1.1Law A contract drawn up by deed.
      • ‘The release was in consideration of ‘payments and covenants herein’.’
      • ‘Clause 3 sets out the employer's covenant to pay its own and the employees' contributions to the trustees.’
      • ‘Meaning of the fundamental covenants and treaties were adopted by Australian governments decades ago.’
      • ‘I am also of the view that the court cannot read down or limit the application of the covenants to a reasonable level.’
      • ‘They can check if any deeds or covenants exist on neighbouring plots, which may restrict site access.’
      contract, compact, treaty, pact, accord, deal, bargain, settlement, concordat, protocol, entente, agreement, arrangement, understanding, pledge, promise, bond, indenture, guarantee, warrant
      undertaking, commitment
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Law A clause in a contract.
      • ‘Like the other covenants in a loan agreement, breach of the negative-pledge clause will trigger the default clause.’
      • ‘The risk fee covenant clause is associated with the incentive fees on contract.’
      • ‘Finally, a fee risk covenant clause is included in the contract.’
      • ‘In the lease the lessee's covenants were contained in clause 4.’
      • ‘Clause 5.9.1 is the main user covenant, in the following terms.’
    3. 1.3Theology An agreement that brings about a relationship of commitment between God and his people. The Jewish faith is based on the biblical covenants made with Abraham, Moses, and David.
      • ‘He made a covenant with Abraham to be God to him and to his descendants after him.’
      • ‘Part of God's fulfillment of the covenant made to Abraham is realized through radical reversals.’
      • ‘Paul is talking about the covenant with Abraham through his seed which was Christ.’
      • ‘The New Covenant permits Gentile Christians to be included in the covenant with Abraham.’
      • ‘It is God, because He is faithful to His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who has preserved the Jews.’


  • Agree, especially by lease, deed, or other legal contract.

    [with infinitive] ‘the landlord covenants to repair the property’
    • ‘Willen covenanted with the town for the benefit and protection of the retained land.’
    • ‘Under clause 2 of the 1984 Deed the company covenanted to retain at least a part of the green land.’
    • ‘By the underlease, the corporation covenanted to repair the interior of the demised premises.’
    • ‘The tenants had covenanted to bear the costs of repair of the premises.’
    • ‘He also covenanted to be responsible for all repairs to the pump other than capital replacements.’
    • ‘Did I not pay them, to the last sixpence, the sum covenanted for?’
    • ‘The defendant covenanted to pay to the plaintiff an insurance rent, and did pay such rent.’
    • ‘Typically the project company will covenant to give notice of the assignment to the other party.’
    • ‘This is in recognition of the fact that wildlife is no respecter of territorial lines covenanted between men.’
    • ‘It was, and is, the position of AWS that liquidated damages must be a genuine, covenanted pre-estimate of loss.’
    • ‘The company covenanted not to sell, assign or grant to anyone the right to distribute the products within Canada.’
    • ‘Ctbn held the head lease of the 18th Floor in which the two companies also covenanted with the landlord.’
    • ‘The issuer covenanted with the Trustee to pay the amount of the Notes as and when they fell due.’
    • ‘It is the use of the information which you have covenanted not to do.’
    • ‘In this case the subtenant had covenanted with his landlord that he would repair the property.’
    • ‘Recognizing these great gifts but also his corrosive personality four men and women covenanted to stick by Jerome.’
    • ‘By clause 11.1, the company also covenanted to offer employment to certain employees at no less than their current salaries.’
    • ‘The Dyer had sought to enforce a writ against a colleague who had covenanted not to practise the craft of dyeing in the same town.’
    • ‘The maximum part of the covenantor's income that may be treated as covenanted is 5%.’
    undertake, give an undertaking, pledge, promise, agree, contract, vow, guarantee, warrant, commit oneself, bind oneself, give one's word, enter into an agreement, engage
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Middle English: from Old French, present participle of covenir agree from Latin convenire (see convene).