n. pl. pi·e·ties
1. The state or quality of being pious, especially:
a. Religious devotion and reverence.
b. Devotion and reverence to parents and family: filial piety.
2. A devout act, thought, or statement.
a. A position held conventionally or hypocritically.
b. A statement of such a position: "the liberated pieties of people who believe that social attitudes have kept pace with women's aspirations" (Erica Abeel).
[Middle English piete, mercy, pity, from Old French, from Latin pietās, dutiful conduct, from pius, dutiful.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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