[ pee-ey-tah, pyey-tah, pee-ey-tuh, pyey- ]
/ ˌpi eɪˈtɑ, pyeɪˈtɑ, piˈeɪ tə, ˈpyeɪ- /

noun (sometimes lowercase) Fine Arts.

a representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of the dead Christ, usually shown held on her lap.

Origin of Pietà

1635–45; < Italian: literally, pity < Latin pietās piety; cf. pity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pieta

British Dictionary definitions for pieta


/ (pɪɛˈtɑː) /


a sculpture, painting, or drawing of the dead Christ, supported by the Virgin Mary

Word Origin for pietà

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

Culture definitions for pieta


[ (pyay-tah; pee-ay-tah) ]

A painting, drawing, or sculpture of Mary, the mother of Jesus, holding the dead body of Jesus. The word means “pity” in Italian.


The most famous of four Pietàs by Michelangelo is a sculpture at Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
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.