Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The state or quality of being pious, especially.
  • noun Religious devotion and reverence.
  • noun Devotion and reverence to parents and family.
  • noun A devout act, thought, or statement.
  • noun A position held conventionally or hypocritically.
  • noun A statement of such a position.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The character of being pious or having filial affection; natural or filial affection; dutiful conduct or behavior toward one's parents, relatives, country, or benefactors.
  • noun Faith in and reverence for the Supreme Being; filial obedience inspired by these sentiments; godliness.
  • noun Synonyms Devotion, Sanctity, etc. See religion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Veneration or reverence of the Supreme Being, and love of his character; loving obedience to the will of God, and earnest devotion to his service.
  • noun Duty; dutifulness; filial reverence and devotion; affectionate reverence and service shown toward parents, relatives, benefactors, country, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable reverence and devotion to God
  • noun uncountable similar reverence to one's parents and family
  • noun countable a devout act or thought

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun righteousness by virtue of being pious

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English piete, mercy, pity, from Old French, from Latin pietās, dutiful conduct, from pius, dutiful.]

Examples

  • Reply Obj. 3: The relations of a man with his kindred and fellow-citizens are more referable to the principles of his being than other relations: wherefore the term piety is more applicable to them.

    Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province

  • Consequently the term piety extends also to the divine worship.

    Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province

  • The question of what piety means or what the term piety refers to still needs to be answered, by finding the suitable reason.

    Planet Atheism

  • Helen looked on Miriam as a pretty ornament or toy, and Miriam gazed dubiously at what she called the piety of the other.

    Moor Fires

  • France as well as Denmark, Carlyle and his school made some effort to justify their Germanism, by pitting what they called the piety and simplicity of Germany against what they called the cynicism and ribaldry of France.

    The Crimes of England

  • 'She can't keep her attention fixed on anything, not even on her prayers, and what she calls piety I should call idleness.

    The Lake

  • And God, who understands us well, has appointed them to keep us in a perpetual frame of love; for so ready is our bad nature to kindle with our good, and burn with it, that what we call our piety, is, otherwise, in constant danger of degenerating into a fiery, censorious, unmerciful and intolerant spirit.

    Christian Nurture.

  • The ardent longing for some being above us, on whom we can lean when our own powers fail, -- the wonderful instinct which desires a faithful friend to whom we can tell every joy and sorrow without fear of disclosure, the thankfulness with which we behold this beautiful world and all the rich blessings we have received -- these are the feelings which we call piety -- devotion.

    An Egyptian Princess — Volume 04

  • The ardent longing for some being above us, on whom we can lean when our own powers fail, -- the wonderful instinct which desires a faithful friend to whom we can tell every joy and sorrow without fear of disclosure, the thankfulness with which we behold this beautiful world and all the rich blessings we have received -- these are the feelings which we call piety -- devotion.

    An Egyptian Princess — Volume 04

  • The ardent longing for some being above us, on whom we can lean when our own powers fail, -- the wonderful instinct which desires a faithful friend to whom we can tell every joy and sorrow without fear of disclosure, the thankfulness with which we behold this beautiful world and all the rich blessings we have received -- these are the feelings which we call piety -- devotion.

    An Egyptian Princess — Complete

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