devout


devout
devout, pious, religious, pietistic, sanctimonious apply mainly to persons, their acts, and their words and mean showing fervor and reverence in the practice of religion.
Devout stresses an attitude of mind or a feeling that leads one to such fervor and reverence
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a devout man, and one that feared God— Acts 10:2

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all those various "offices" which, in Pontifical, Missal, and Breviary, devout imagination had elaborated from age to agePater

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Pious emphasizes rather the faithful and dutiful performance of one's religious obligations; although often used interchangeably with devout it tends to suggest outward acts which imply faithfulness and fervor rather than, as does devout, an attitude or feeling which can only be inferred
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pious churchmen

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happy, as a pious man is happy when after a long illness, he goes once more to church— Hichens

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were pious Christians, taking their Faith devoutly. But such religious emotion as was theirs, was reflected rather than spontaneous— H. O. Taylor

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The term often, however, carries a hint of depreciation, sometimes of hypocrisy
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the saying that we are members one of another is not a mere pious formula to be repeated in church without any meaning— Shaw

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a hypocrite—a thing all pious words and uncharitable deeds— Reade

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Religious may and usually does imply both devoutness and piety, but it stresses faith in a God or gods and adherence to a way of life believed in consonance with that faith
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a man may be moral without being religious, but he cannot be religious without being moralMyers

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they are not religious: they are only pew renters— Shaw

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In its basic meaning pietistic stresses the emotional rather than the intellectual aspects of religion
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in the Catholic Church it [use of the Bible] is threefold, doctrinal, liturgical, and pietisticNew Catholic Diet.

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while probably a very late psalm, it brings to a kind of spiritual climax the pietistic utterances found in earlier parts of the Bible— Baab

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an emotional person with pietistic inclinations that nearly carried him over at different times to the Plymouth Brethren— H. G. Wells

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Often this opposition of the emotional to the intellectual is overlooked and pietistic is used derogatorily of someone or something felt to display overly sentimental or unduly emotional piety
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Gibbon's analysis of the causes of the growth of Christianity was very valuable, because he redressed the balance against a heavy weight of pietistic flapdoodle that passed for ecclesiastical history— Trevelyan

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Sanctimonious has entirely lost its original implication of a holy or sacred character and implies a mere pretension to or appearance of holiness or piety
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a sanctimonious hypocrite

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sanctimonious phrases

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Often it connotes a hypocritical aloofness or superiority of manner
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if it only takes some of the sanctimonious conceit out of one of those pious scalawags— Frost

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Analogous words: fervent, fervid, ardent (see IMPASSIONED): worshiping, adoring, venerating (see REVERE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Devout — De*vout , a. [OE. devot, devout, F. d[ e]vot, from L. devotus devoted, p. p. of devovere. See {Devote}, v. t.] 1. Devoted to religion or to religious feelings and duties; absorbed in religious exercises; given to devotion; pious; reverent;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • devout — [di vout′] adj. [ME < OFr devot < L devotus, devoted (in LL(Ec), devout): see DEVOTE] 1. very religious; pious 2. showing reverence 3. earnest; sincere; heartfelt devoutly adv. devoutness n. SYN. DEVOUT implies sincere, worshipful devotion… …   English World dictionary

  • devout — ► ADJECTIVE 1) deeply religious. 2) earnestly sincere: my devout hope. DERIVATIVES devoutly adverb devoutness noun. ORIGIN Latin devotus devoted , from devovere consecrate …   English terms dictionary

  • Devout — De*vout , n. 1. A devotee. [Obs.] Sheldon. [1913 Webster] 2. A devotional composition, or part of a composition; devotion. [Obs.] Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • devout — index faithful (loyal), serious (devoted), solemn, zealous Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • devout — early 13c., from O.Fr. devot pious, devoted, assiduous, from L. devotus given up by vow, devoted, pp. of devovere dedicate by vow (see DEVOTION (Cf. devotion)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • devout — [adj] sincerely believing; devoted adherent, adoring, ardent, deep, earnest, faithful, fervent, fervid, genuine, godly, goody goody*, goody two shoes*, heart and soul, heartfelt, holy, intense, orthodox, passionate, pietistic, pious, prayerful,… …   New thesaurus

  • devout — [[t]dɪva͟ʊt[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED A devout person has deep religious beliefs. She was a devout Christian... His devout Catholicism appeals to ordinary people. N PLURAL: the N The devout are people who are devout. ...priests instructing the devout.… …   English dictionary

  • devout — adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French, from Late Latin devotus, from Latin, past participle of devovēre Date: 13th century 1. devoted to religion or to religious duties or exercises 2. expressing devotion or piety < a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • devout — de|vout [dıˈvaut] adj [Date: 1100 1200; : Old French; Origin: devot, from Latin devotus; DEVOTE] 1.) someone who is devout has a very strong belief in a religion ▪ a devout Catholic 2.) formal a devout hope or wish is one that you feel very… …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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