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noun, plural pi·e·ties.
  1. reverence for God or devout fulfillment of religious obligations: a prayer full of piety.
  2. the quality or state of being pious: saintly piety.
  3. dutiful respect or regard for parents, homeland, etc.: filial piety.
  4. a pious act, remark, belief, or the like: the pieties and sacrifices of an austere life.

Origin of piety

1275–1325; Middle English piete < Middle French < Latin pietās, equivalent to pi(us) + -etās, variant (after i) of -itās; see pious, -ity
Related formssu·per·pi·e·ty, noun, plural su·per·pi·e·ties.un·pi·e·ty, noun, plural un·pi·e·ties.

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for piety


noun plural -ties
  1. dutiful devotion to God and observance of religious principles
  2. the quality or characteristic of being pious
  3. a pious action, saying, etc
  4. rare devotion and obedience to parents or superiors

Word Origin for piety

C13 piete, from Old French, from Latin pietās piety, dutifulness, from pius pious
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 piety

early 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), "mercy, tenderness, pity," from Old French piete "piety, faith; pity, compassion" (12c.), from Latin pietatem (nominative pietas) "dutiful conduct, sense of duty; religiousness, piety; loyalty, patriotism; faithfulness to natural ties," in Late Latin "gentleness, kindness, pity;" from pius "kind" (see pious). Meaning "piousness" attested in English from c.1600. Also see pity (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper