- the ancient Roman personification of familial affection, patriotism, and piety.
[pee-ey-tah, pyey-tah, pee-ey-tuh, pyey-]
- a representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of the dead Christ, usually shown held on her lap.
Origin of Pietà
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pietas
Nor can there be any need to show that the name Pola is not a contraction of Pietas Julia.Sketches from the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice
Edward A. Freeman
Thus the Roman Poets consider their State in course of ruin because its prisci mores and pietas were failing.An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine
John Henry Cardinal Newman
The words that suggest most clearly the Roman attitude towards what we call charity are liberalitas, beneficentia and pietas.
Pietas has the religious note which the other words lack, loving dutifulness to gods and home and country.
Pietas is Virgil's word for religion, as it had been Cicero's in his more exalted moments.The Religious Experience of the Roman People
W. Warde Fowler
- a sculpture, painting, or drawing of the dead Christ, supported by the Virgin Mary
Italian: pity, from Latin pietās piety
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for pietas
"Virgin holding the dead body of Christ," 1640s, from Italian pieta, from Latin pietatem (see piety).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.