[ pahy-uhs ]
See synonyms for: piouspiouslypiousness 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.

  1. 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.

  2. of or relating to religious devotion; sacred rather than secular: pious literature.

  3. having or showing appropriate respect or regard for parents or others.

Origin of pious

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin pius, akin to piāre “to propitiate”

synonym study For pious

1. See religious.

Other words for pious

Other words from pious

  • pi·ous·ly, adverb
  • pi·ous·ness, noun
  • pre·pi·ous, adjective
  • pre·pi·ous·ly, adverb
  • pseu·do·pi·ous, adjective
  • pseu·do·pi·ous·ly, adverb
  • quasi-pious, adjective
  • qua·si-pi·ous·ly, adverb
  • sem·i·pi·ous, adjective
  • sem·i·pi·ous·ly, adverb
  • sem·i·pi·ous·ness, noun
  • su·per·pi·ous, adjective
  • su·per·pi·ous·ly, adverb
  • su·per·pi·ous·ness, noun
  • un·pi·ous, adjective
  • un·pi·ous·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pious in a sentence

  • At one side of the chancel arch there is a reading desk, which looks piously at a pulpit, made just like it, on the opposite side.

British Dictionary definitions for pious


/ (ˈpaɪəs) /

  1. having or expressing reverence for a god or gods; religious; devout

  2. marked by reverence

  1. marked by false reverence; sanctimonious

  2. sacred; not secular

  3. archaic having or expressing devotion for one's parents or others

Origin of pious

C17: from Latin pius, related to piāre to expiate

Derived forms of pious

  • piously, adverb
  • piousness, 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