See more synonyms for pious on Thesaurus.com
  1. having or showing a dutiful spirit of reverence for God or an earnest wish to fulfill religious obligations.
  2. characterized by a hypocritical concern with virtue or religious devotion; sanctimonious.
  3. practiced or used in the name of real or pretended religious motives, or for some ostensibly good object; falsely earnest or sincere: a pious deception.
  4. of or relating to religious devotion; sacred rather than secular: pious literature.
  5. having or showing appropriate respect or regard for parents or others.

Origin of pious

1595–1605; < Latin pius, akin to piāre to propitiate
Related formspi·ous·ly, adverbpi·ous·ness, nounpre·pi·ous, adjectivepre·pi·ous·ly, adverbpseu·do·pi·ous, adjectivepseu·do·pi·ous·ly, adverbqua·si-pi·ous, adjectivequa·si-pi·ous·ly, adverbsem·i·pi·ous, adjectivesem·i·pi·ous·ly, adverbsem·i·pi·ous·ness, nounsu·per·pi·ous, adjectivesu·per·pi·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·pi·ous·ness, nounun·pi·ous, adjectiveun·pi·ous·ly, adverb

Synonyms for pious

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

Examples from the Web for piously

Contemporary Examples of piously

Historical Examples of piously

  • The first room, Madame Goujet's, was piously preserved in the state she had left it.


    Emile Zola

  • They were not "English to the back-bone," as their aunt had piously asserted.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • His anger fell from him, and with bent head he piously crossed himself.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • "Well, she seems to feel what she says," Mrs. Rooth piously risked.

    The Tragic Muse

    Henry James

  • Meekly craving their blessing, for so had they been piously taught.

    Man of Uz, and Other Poems

    Lydia Howard Sigourney

British Dictionary definitions for piously


  1. having or expressing reverence for a god or gods; religious; devout
  2. marked by reverence
  3. marked by false reverence; sanctimonious
  4. sacred; not secular
  5. archaic having or expressing devotion for one's parents or others
Derived Formspiously, adverbpiousness, noun

Word Origin for pious

C17: from Latin pius, related to piāre to expiate
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 piously



mid-15c., from Latin pius "dutiful, devout, conscientious, religious; faithful to kindred; inspired by friendship, prompted by natural affections," perhaps [Klein] related to Latin purus "pure, clean" (see pure). Often coupled with fraud (n.) from at least 1630s. Related: Piously; piousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper