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pious


The cartoon with a drawing of Muhammad outraged many pious Muslims.
  behaving in a highly moral or religious manner

or less commonly:  behaving highly moral in a self-righteous or holier-than-thou manner
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pious piety pieties piously piousness
Notes:
Note that pious is sometimes used ironically; i.e., to imply that one’s pious words do not match their true beliefs.  For example, when Mark Twain used the phrase "her mouth full of pious hypocrisies".

Standard prefix:  As a prefix, im- is often used in front of an m or p to mean "not" — as in impious, immature, or imperfect.
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Samples:
  • The cartoon with a drawing of Muhammad outraged many pious Muslims.
  • Her piety required her to help her neighbors who were in need.
  • In November 1510, on behalf of seven Augustinian monasteries, he [Luther] made a visit to Rome, where he performed the religious duties customary for a pious visitor and was shocked by the worldliness of the Roman clergy.
    Martin Luther - MSN Encarta  --  http://encarta.msn.com/text_761570003___0/Martin_Luther.html(retrieved 05/21/06)
  • It pains her, as a pious Muslim, that some fundamentalists want to kill her in the name of Islam.
    Nicholas D. Kristof  --  Half the Sky

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  • Parnell Moody used to be wild and now she was pious.
    Eudora Welty  --  The Golden Apples
  • Now she’s the most fakely pious person I know.
    Christina Garcia  --  Dreaming in Cuban
  • He met others like her—"church ladies," he called them—and he was impressed, not by their piety but by what they were willing to do on behalf of the migrant workers.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • By means of pious sacrifices he gains the protection of the Sun God;
    Unknown  --  The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Why did you turn aside from your pious practices and good works?
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • I knew an old black man, whose piety and childlike trust in God were beautiful to witness
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

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  • Moody began to say his Islamic prayers with a piety I had not witnessed in him before.
    Betty Mahmoody  --  Not Without My Daughter
  • The Vatican is made up of deeply pious men
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • For a pious man, especially for a Quaker, he was certainly rather hard-hearted, to say the least.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • His family was deeply pious, and his own religious conviction formed a significant background to his philosophy.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • ...worthy, pious men — came upon the man but did not stop, "passing by on the other side." The only man to help was a Samaritan — the member of a despised minority — who "went up to him and bound up his wounds" and took him to an inn.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • he really seemed somehow or other to fancy that his wife had piety and benevolence enough for two
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • ...believing that piety had never worn a form so lovely as it had now assumed in the youthful person of Alice.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • The rain drove us into the church.... Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but we knew it was only the rain.
    Frank McCourt  --  Angela’s Ashes
  • I feel, love, need, and respect people above all else, including the arts, natural scenery, organized piety, or nationalistic superstructures.
    Jay Allison, et al.  --  This I Believe
  • And is not this course pious?
    William Shakespeare  --  Henry VIII
  • The solemn lines of that architecture, ... the serene and pious thoughts which emanated, so to speak, from all the pores of that stone, acted upon her without her being aware of it.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • "Young Juan," the mother read, "from his earliest years was noted for his humility and piety."
    Graham Greene  --  The Power and the Glory
  • Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Screwtape Letters
  • He was very pious, a great attender of sermons of the best preachers
    Benjamin Franklin  --  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • the pious churchgoers
    Tim O’Brien  --  The Things They Carried
  • the piety and heroism of ’The Three Musketeers’
    Kurt Vonnegut  --  Slaughterhouse-Five
  • "It is better," I recited piously, "to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house with a contentious woman."
    Katherine Paterson  --  Jacob Have I Loved
  • a learned and pious minister
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • Most were pious Christians or Muslims.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • Mrs. Pender is, ah, a pious woman, and she believes that now that we have invaded Pennsylvania we are in the wrong, and God has forsaken us
    Michael Shaara  --  The Killer Angels
  • ... for a woman as pious as she was, she lied very well;
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • When I try to put it into words, it comes out one of those ... over-pious platitudes at which Bishops are expected to excel.
    Margaret Craven  --  I Heard the Owl Call My Name
  • Mr. Patel, Piscine’s piety is admirable.
    Yann Martel  --  Life of Pi
  • Mr. Bumble raised his eyes piously to the ceiling in thankfulness
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • They are very good men, the monks, very pious men.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • And I was a civil, pious boy, and could rattle off my catechism that fast, as you couldn’t tell one word from another.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Treasure Island
  • regarded as a shining instance of youthful piety, though somewhat given to over-severity towards weaker brethren,
    George Eliot  --  Silas Marner
  • There were several books on a shelf; one lay beside the tea-things open, and Utterson was amazed to find it a copy of a pious work, for which Jekyll had several times expressed a great esteem, annotated, in his own hand, with startling blasphemies.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • his piety
    William Shakespeare  --  The Winter’s Tale
  • He condemned magnificently and forgave piously
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt
  • "She must have been a pious and kind soul," the woman says sympathetically.
    Libba Bray  --  Sweet Far Thing
  • What became of our Eden, our world of innocence, piety, and poetry;
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege
  • Then I should have come here; and you would have had a statue and a reputation for piety to live up to.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • Any one could see with half an eye that the woman was as pious as could be...
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • And so she cultivated a pious interest in heathens.
    Alice Walker  --  The Color Purple
  • Why, before, he looked like the orneriest old rip that ever was; but now ... he looked ... good and pious...
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • This morning he was spinning the tale of Susanna, beautiful and pious wife of the rich man Joakim.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • Behind his pious calm, she saw a man tormented by personal demons.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • Pious people have always gotten on my nerves.
    Sue Monk Kidd  --  The Secret Life of Bees
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Associated words [difficulty]:   pious [1] , impious [4]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Religion - Christianity, Religion & Spirtuality, Classic Literature
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