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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Within families filial piety was the keystone of morality and it led logically to an absolute obedience to the household head.
▪ They put great store in filial piety and playing by their rules.
▪ However, where the two virtues conflicted, loyalty tended to take precedence over filial piety.
▪ This made him the intellectual heir of John Hunter, whose Essays and Observations he published with due filial piety in 1861.
▪ Here it may be as well to shift from filial piety to what for our society is the more straight forward issue of theft.
▪ This is clearly a work of filial piety.
▪ I approve the deadly seriousness, the piety, the need for something sacred in your life.
▪ In this strange mix of piety and bawdiness, they directly recall the world of Dargah Quli Khan and the Muraqqa'-e-Dehli.
▪ Isabella never let her own piety give her simple ease.
▪ It was a city where piety and the hard sell met.
▪ Next came the inaugural luncheon and a new round of insincere bipartisan pieties.
▪ Nu might have been a village schoolmaster, or a teller of tales, respected for his piety.
▪ They lived under constant threat of exposure and extermination at the hands of the Inquisition, which monitored Christians' piety.
▪ Within families filial piety was the keystone of morality and it led logically to an absolute obedience to the household head.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Piety \Pi"e*ty\, n. [F. pi['e]t['e]; cf. It. piet[`a]; both fr. L. pietas piety, fr. pius pious. See Pious, and cf. Pity.]

  1. Veneration or reverence of the Supreme Being, and love of his character; loving obedience to the will of God, and earnest devotion to his service.

    Piety is the only proper and adequate relief of decaying man.

  2. Duty; dutifulness; filial reverence and devotion; affectionate reverence and service shown toward parents, relatives, benefactors, country, etc.

    Conferred upon me for the piety Which to my country I was judged to have shown.

    Syn: Religion; sanctity; devotion; godliness; holiness. See Religion.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.).


n. 1 (context uncountable English) reverence and devotion to God 2 (context uncountable English) similar reverence to one's parents and family 3 (context countable English) a devout act or thought


n. righteousness by virtue of being pious [syn: piousness] [ant: impiety]


In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue that may include religious devotion, spirituality, or a mixture of both. A common element in most conceptions of piety is humility and religiosity.

Usage examples of "piety".

But on these lands, and on the ruins of Pagan superstition, the Christians had frequently erected their own religious edifices: and as it was necessary to remove the church before the temple could be rebuilt, the justice and piety of the emperor were applauded by one party, while the other deplored and execrated his sacrilegious violence.

The theory of persecution was established by Theodosius, whose justice and piety have been applauded by the saints: but the practice of it, in the fullest extent, was reserved for his rival and colleague, Maximus, the first, among the Christian princes, who shed the blood of his Christian subjects on account of their religious opinions.

Not any forensic act of faith in atoning blood, but ingrained piety a modest renunciation before the reality of things is the grand gateway of souls to the blessedness and repose of God.

When it began to thunder and lighten, however, and to grow black in the northeast, Brith professed recurring symptoms of piety.

The present Archbishop of Manilla, whose reputation for piety and good feeling towards all men stands very high, is an old soldier, who, after serving his king when a young man as lieutenant of cavalry for several years, changed his master, and assuming the habit of a priest, devoted himself to religion for the remainder of his life.

I silently meditated on the eminent proofs of piety and faith which were just afforded me in the scene I had witnessed.

You see, messieurs, that not only happiness but piety may hang on a hair, and those holy saints to whom the faithful pray were, without doubt, adroit perruquiers who understand their cue.

Many revivals in the Protestant church, such as Methodism, were, like the original movement, returns to personal piety and biblicism.

Of a wit and grace to match her superb beauty, she was also of a perfervid piety, a daily communicant, a model of virtue to all maids of honour.

But as the debates of so tumultuous an assembly could not have been directed by the authority of reason, or influenced by the art of policy, the Persian synod was reduced, by successive operations, to forty thousand, to four thousand, to four hundred, to forty, and at last to seven Magi, the most respected for their learning and piety.

Truth is the will of God, obedience to which alone is sound morality, reverential love of which alone is pure piety.

To preach Redemption, Sacramentary Grace, and Salvation, through the Lord of Hosts, the God of Truth who rewards for acts of piety .

Finally, it is applied to Jehovah, signifying the divine spirit, or power, by which all animate creatures live, the universe is filled with motion, all extraordinary gifts of skill, genius, strength, or virtue are bestowed, and men incited to forsake evil and walk in the paths of truth and piety.

Buddhist acts of piety and local varieties of the stupa are found in all the many countries to which Buddhism has spread.

To elude without violating his promise to a powerful associate, the husband of his sister, and, without giving himself an equal, to reward the piety of his brother Isaac, the crafty Alexius interposed a new and supereminent dignity.