Definition of pietism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpʌɪətɪz(ə)m/


[mass noun]
1Pious sentiment, especially of an exaggerated or affected nature.
Example sentences
  • As in many things, we must walk that line between legalism or pietism on the one hand and licentiousness on the other.
  • Both built pietism into their systems, believing that society must be converted before the state could be conquered.
  • Rather than appealing to reason, pietism emphasized the strong emotional power of personal religious experience.
1.1 (usually Pietism) A 17th-century movement for the revival of piety in the Lutheran Church.
Example sentences
  • In Halle, birthplace of George Frederick Handel and once a center of Lutheran pietism that preached the personal devotion to the Redeemer, only 10 percent of the inhabitants belong to a Christian denomination.
  • The experiential pietism of the Great Awakening's revival preachers influenced prorevival Puritans to require testimony to an inner experience of personal encounter with God as a normative sign of conversion.
  • I must be open about the fact that I am relying heavily here on motifs that loom large in my own tradition of Calvinist pietism.



Pronunciation: /ˈpʌɪətɪst/
Example sentences
  • The purpose of the public school, to the pietists, was ‘to unify and make homogeneous the society.’
  • These Lutherans were pietist and puritanical, expecting the imminent apocalypse.
  • His father was very pietist and devoted to prayer.


Pronunciation: /pʌɪəˈtɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • The girls were always very friendly - but I was always a bit suspicious of their pietistic fervour.
  • I envied the refugees from behind the iron curtain who sat next to me in the flight with their noses flattened against the windowpanes, their pietistic eyes peeled open to sight the Goddess of Liberty.
  • By 1865 politicians realized that bishops and priests largely avoided even informal electoral endorsements of any kind - they were far less active than pietistic Protestants, as the annals of temperance and anti-slavery demonstrate.


Pronunciation: /pʌɪəˈtɪstɪk(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • "I would rather live on the verge of falling and let my security be in the all-sufficiency of the grace of God than to live in some kind of pietistical illusion of moral excellence."
  • Several European countries were experiencing similar pietistical trends.
  • But pietistical ideas were profoundly different from all intellectual ideas.


Pronunciation: /pʌɪəˈtɪstɪkli/
Example sentences
  • For those who pietistically claimed that God treated us even-handedly because, as they wanted to claim, God was neutral, we had many biblical texts to refer to which showed that God was in fact notoriously biased.
  • Those who felt the impact of the pietistically inclined awakenings were often critical of the forms and practices of the state church and the clergy.
  • The following poems largely avoid anything mawkish or pietistically simple, or on the other hand too gloomy or gruesome; they are all good literature.


Late 17th century: from German Pietismus, from modern Latin, based on Latin pietas (see piety).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: piet|ism

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