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[god-lee] /ˈgɒd li/
adjective, godlier, godliest.
conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devout; pious.
coming from God; divine.
Origin of godly
before 1000; Middle English; Old English godlīc. See God, -ly
Related forms
godliness, noun
1. religious, saintly, holy, righteous, good.
1. wicked, impious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for godliness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But godliness is profitable unto all things having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

  • Ireland is badly off for soap, and cleanliness is next to godliness.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness?

  • Most of the temples in Benares, too, are as far from cleanliness as they are from godliness.

  • But inquiry into the fact, has satisfied me that the form of godliness does not exist.

    Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, George Alfred Townsend
  • Perhaps a god might fall in love with a mortal without losing his godliness.

    Divinity William Morrison
  • The young Englishman must have his morning bath—a favourable sign, if it be true that p. 10cleanliness is next to godliness.

    Cities of the Dawn J. Ewing Ritchie
  • All things that pertain to life, all things that pertain to godliness.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
  • No wonder the people revere those Christian heroes, who laid the foundations in godliness for a stalwart commonwealth.

British Dictionary definitions for godliness


adjective -lier, -liest
having a religious character; pious; devout: a godly man
Derived Forms
godliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for godliness

1530s, from godly + -ness.



late 14c., from god + -ly (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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godliness in the Bible

the whole of practical piety (1 Tim. 4:8; 2 Pet. 1:6). "It supposes knowledge, veneration, affection, dependence, submission, gratitude, and obedience." In 1 Tim. 3:16 it denotes the substance of revealed religion.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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