Definition of pious in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpʌɪəs/


1Devoutly religious: a deeply pious woman
More example sentences
  • Now the third important point related to government regulation is the aim of religion education is to develop pious and devout students.
  • However, Bosch was an orthodox Christian, a member of the Brotherhood of our Lady, a pious religious confraternity.
  • Both feel deeply about nature and religion, and are devotedly pious to church and religion.
religious, devout, devoted, dedicated, reverent, God-fearing, churchgoing, spiritual, prayerful, holy, godly, saintly, faithful, dutiful, righteous
1.1Making or constituting a hypocritical display of virtue: his pious platitudes
More example sentences
  • Yes, the new EU constitution has plenty of pious words about ensuring that there should be no unfair state aids and other subsidies.
  • Second, in the pious and hypocritical words of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ‘we live in a country of laws where there can be severe consequences for those who break them.’
  • There is enormous hypocrisy surrounding the pious veneration of the Constitution and ‘the rule of law.’
sanctimonious, hypocritical, insincere, self-righteous, holier-than-thou, pietistic, churchy;
for form's sake, to keep up appearances
informal goody-goody, pi
rare religiose, Pharisaic, Pharisaical
1.2 archaic Dutiful or loyal, especially towards one’s parents.
Example sentences
  • Since sons and daughters were supposed to learn how to be loyal to the king by being pious to their parents, one could not easily excise the first bond.
  • Proper behavior means to be loyal, filially pious respectful and trustworthy.
2 [attributive] (Of a hope) sincere but unlikely to be fulfilled.
Example sentences
  • Despite pious hopes, it is unlikely that any national government will allow the UN to tax its citizens or that taxes, like books, will be destroyed by the Web.
  • Does it have anything other than a vain and pious hope that that could actually be achieved, or is the Government treating it in a cavalier fashion?
  • The message was delivered through an intermediary, leaving the CIA with the pious hope that once its wishes had been made known, Viaux would respect them.
sincere, forlorn, vain, desperate, despairing, doomed, hopeless, lost;
unlikely, unduly optimistic, unrealistic



Pronunciation: /ˈpʌɪəsli/
Example sentences
  • ‘But wait,’ you protest piously, ‘We are fighters for the poor.’
  • It has been observed that ‘Even some of the worst hillbillies, drunks, profligates, and ex-cons piously sing gospel songs on their albums’.
  • When the chocolates reached our end of the table, I piously raised my hand and said, ‘No thanks, my body is a temple.’


Example sentences
  • Your Holiness, you are regarded as one of the greatest living icons of spirituality, piousness, truthfulness and righteousness.
  • Their very piousness was rooted in blind prejudice and this made them extremely interesting because they were so obviously flawed.
  • Now, as you rightfully know, my sons have their fates outlined by war and piousness, as other young men have.


Late Middle English: from Latin pius 'dutiful, pious' + -ous.

  • 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 pious

Ananias, bias, Darius, dryas, Elias, eyas, Gaius, hamadryas, Lias, Mathias, Tobias

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pious

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