Definition of pietà in US English:


(also Pietà)


  • A picture or sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus Christ on her lap or in her arms.

    • ‘Perfect as an allegory - the pietà, the sacrificial lamb - and yet so empathetically maternal, it gives warmth to the solemn poise of Bellini.’
    • ‘From the agony in the garden, where Gibson begins, to the pietà at the foot of the cross, Jesus does what he teaches.’
    • ‘In this tradition of Michelangelo, Milton, and Scorcese, Gibson has made his own pietà.’
    • ‘There's a warped pietà on the front of the mall, underneath which a grown-over inscription declares: ‘I Am the Resurrection.’’


Italian, from Latin pietas ‘dutifulness’.