Definition of piety in English:

Share this entry

piety

Pronunciation: /ˈpʌɪəti/

noun (plural pieties)

[mass noun]
1The quality of being religious or reverent: acts of piety and charity
More example sentences
  • An atmosphere of piety and religious fervour permeated the building, as the Catholics, many of whom had taken time off from work, gathered in front of a large photo of the Pope placed on the altar.
  • This was one act of religious piety that did not convey anger, but deepened communal solidarity.
  • Superstition more than prayer and piety characterized popular religiosity there.
Synonyms
devoutness, devotion, piousness, religiousness, religion, holiness, godliness, sanctity, sanctitude, saintliness, devotion to God, veneration, reverence, faith, religious duty, spirituality, sacredness, religious zeal, fervour, pietism, religiosity
1.1 [count noun] A belief which is accepted with unthinking conventional reverence: the accepted pieties of our time
More example sentences
  • Coming of age just after the Second World War, he was too old to be a child of the 1960s, but too young to accept the pieties his parents might have taken for granted.
  • These may sound like the conventional pieties.
  • Jotted down, her words are broken, repetitive, a string of conventional pieties.
Synonyms
dutifulness, obedience, deference, duty, respect, respectfulness, compliance, acquiescence, tractability, tractableness;
submissiveness, submission, subservience

Origin

Early 16th century (in the sense 'devotion to religious observances'): from Old French piete, from Latin pietas 'dutifulness', from pius (see pious).

More
  • pity from Middle English:

    Latin pius meant ‘pious’(Late Middle English) but had a wider range of meanings than the word does in modern English, to include a wide range of moral qualities from being dutiful to your parents to being loyal, affectionate, compassionate, and kind. The Latin noun was pietas, and this, via French, became both pity and piety (originally used in the same sense as ‘pity’), both Middle English. Pietas also developed a medieval Latin form pitantia, which meant ‘a charitable donation’ and the meagre daily dole of food given out to monks and also to paupers. From this comes Middle English pittance.

Words that rhyme with piety

anxiety, contrariety, dubiety, impiety, impropriety, inebriety, notoriety, satiety, sobriety, ubiety, variety

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: piety

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.