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coven +‎ stead; first attested in 1969.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkʌvn̩ˌstɛd/
  • Audio (Southern England):(file)
  • Hyphenation: cov‧en‧stead



covenstead (plural covensteads)

  1. (Wicca) A permanent circle or temple used to meet for rituals and to store religious items, often a mundane location.
    • 1969, June Johns, King of the witches: the world of Alex Sanders, page 108:
      He began being late for meetings and, as some members travelled quite a distance to the covenstead and had to leave promptly afterwards, Alex took him to task.
    • 1986, Raymond Buckland, Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft, link
      It used to be that one covendom could not overlap another, so one covenstead would never be closer than six miles to the next.
    • 1993, Janet Thompson, Of Witches: Celebrating the Goddess As a Solitary Pagan, page 29,
      If that is the case, then the home of the high Priestess is likely to be referred to as the covenstead.
    • 1999, James R. Lewis, Witchcraft today: an encyclopedia of Wiccan and neopagan traditions[1], page 66:
      The covenstead is the meeting place of a coven.
  2. (Wicca, by metonymy) A Wiccan congregation.
    • 1995, Silver RavenWolf, Beneath a Mountain Moon, published 2005, page 104:
      For the last year, the entire covenstead had noticed an increase in the number of outsiders on their properties.
    • 2006, Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America[2], page 128:
      In connection with these principles the Dianic Covenstead had a very effective series of exercises and techniques for regaining kinship and attunement with nature.
    • 2009, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Bitter Night: A Horngate Witches Book[3], page 53:
      It was easy to say they'd all get along fine—join other covensteads or live free like most everybody else, but the truth was that joining a covenstead was no easy task, and most wouldn't know what to do with themselves without a witch to serve.