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[pahy-i-tiz-uh m] /ˈpaɪ ɪˌtɪz əm/
a movement, originating in the Lutheran Church in Germany in the 17th century, that stressed personal piety over religious formality and orthodoxy.
the principles and practices of the Pietists.
(lowercase) intensity of religious devotion or feeling.
(lowercase) exaggeration or affectation of piety.
Origin of Pietism
1690-1700; < German Pietismus < Latin piet(ās) piety + German -ismus -ism
Related forms
Pietist, noun
pietistic, pietistical, adjective
pietistically, adverb
4. sanctimony. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pietistic
Historical Examples
  • We can think of God's Kingdom and righteousness only in the light of the pietistic.

  • Snoilsky was "awake," to use a pietistic expression, Bjrck was dead.

    The Growth of a Soul August Strindberg
  • His mind was sombre and pietistic, and his imagination bizarre and vivid.

    Old Continental Towns Walter M. Gallichan
  • Did not the poet Young exclaim, in one of his most pietistic "Night Thoughts,"

    Seeing and Hearing George W. E. Russell
  • But I was never able to observe that it produced any pietistic tone in number 94.

    Immortal Youth Lucien Price
  • Then, again, the whole thing is a little too pietistic for ordinary use.

    Aletta Bertram Mitford
  • Don't think from this rhapsody that I am undergoing a fit of pietistic exaltation.

    Julia Ward Howe Laura E. Richards
  • Her past pietistic fervors had left her with no memento of consolation.

    An Ambitious Woman Edgar Fawcett
  • There was nothing of the ethereal, the spiritual, the pietistic, or the pathetic about him.

  • There was pietistic influence in Ritschl's ancestry, as also in Schleiermacher's.

    Edward Caldwell Moore Edward Moore
British Dictionary definitions for pietistic


a less common word for piety
excessive, exaggerated, or affected piety or saintliness
Derived Forms
pietist, noun
pietistic, pietistical, adjective


(history) a reform movement in the German Lutheran Churches during the 17th and 18th centuries that strove to renew the devotional ideal
Derived Forms
Pietist, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for pietistic

1804, from pietist + -ic. Related: Pietistical.



also Pietism, 1690s, from German Pietismus, originally applied in derision to the movement to revive personal piety in the Lutheran Church, begun in Frankfurt c.1670 by Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705). See piety + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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