Definition of impiety in English:



mass noun
  • Lack of piety or reverence.

    ‘he blamed the fall of the city on the impiety of the people’
    • ‘We are disturbed both by the traditional impiety of corpse desecration and the modern idea of the overreaching scientist.’
    • ‘And for all of his profane honesty and candid impiety, this wicked preacher keeps me reading.’
    • ‘Work itself, not to mention hard work, is now shunned as radically as the appearance of impiety was, once upon a time.’
    • ‘Traditionally, of course, pluralism in religious matters was deemed a sign of impiety and indifference to God's truth.’
    • ‘If good and bad are merely what seem good and bad to the individual observer, then how can one claim that stealing or adultery or impiety or murder are somehow wrong?’
    • ‘Less addicted to the study of cartography, the following generations comprehended that this dilated map was useless and, not without impiety, delivered it to the inclemencies of the sun and of the winters.’
    • ‘Rome would continue to anathematize the French Revolution as the origin of modern impiety and anti-clericalism, a change happily accepted by all those who gloried in these attitudes.’
    • ‘Within a remarkably short time, it was realized that the family was failing to control the impiety and insubordination of the younger generation.’
    • ‘Shortly before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War he was charged by the political opponents of Pericles with impiety, that is, with denying the gods recognized by the State.’
    • ‘We are to renounce impiety and worldly passions.’
    • ‘Chaucer's habit of poking fun at pardoners and summoners is not so much an example of impiety as a way of demonstrating how much virtue he has to spare.’
    • ‘He was tried for impiety, but acquitted by the Athenian jury.’
    • ‘The Genesis legends of Cain and Nimrod, Babel and Sodom uniformly attribute impiety, pride, idolatry, luxury, crime and moral depravity to all cities and their founders, Sodom included.’
    • ‘For the next seven years Galileo kept a relatively low profile, complaining bitterly in private about ‘the ignorance, malice and impiety of my opponents who have won the day’.’
    • ‘According to a garbled ancient tradition he was tried for embezzlement and/or impiety at Athens or Olympia (where his workshop has been excavated) and was executed or died in exile.’
    • ‘In 399 he was charged with impiety (through not duly recognising the gods the city recognised, and introducing new, unrecognised divinities) and, a separate alleged offence, corrupting the young.’
    • ‘While some ancient sources claim that these positions led to his having been tried for impiety in Athens and his books burned, these stories may well have been later legends.’
    • ‘There is no sort of impiety or wickedness which in this way has not come to be accounted virtuous and good.’
    • ‘Radical impiety is not an answer any more than orthodoxy.’
    • ‘It was probably in 1462 that he arrived in Rome, where he aroused papal wrath for supposed impieties and served two terms in prison before bouncing back into favour, and obtaining his librarianship, after writing some papal biographies.’
    godlessness, ungodliness, unholiness, irreligion, sinfulness, sin, vice, immorality, unrighteousness, sacrilege, profaneness, irreverence, disrespect
    sin, transgression, wrongdoing, evil-doing, wrong, misdeed, misdemeanour, bad deed, act of wickedness, immoral act, fall from grace
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French impiete or Latin impietas, from impius ‘impious’.