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[im-pee-uh s, im-pahy-] /ˈɪm pi əs, ɪmˈpaɪ-/
not pious or religious; lacking reverence for God, religious practices, etc.; irreligious; ungodly.
Origin of impious
1565-75; < Latin impius. See im-2, pious
Related forms
impiously, adverb
impiousness, noun
1. sacrilegious, blasphemous, irreverent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for impious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is that robe without seam, which the impious Jews would have torn but could not.

    The Makers of Modern Rome Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
  • It would be impious to strew our mother's bones along the way.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew Josephine Preston Peabody
  • It was an act of impious treachery, and the beginning of the doom of the French Monarchy.

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
  • Do you not recollect that there was one idea which made the impious impious, and the pious pious?

    Euthyphro Plato
  • But the thought of interfering with the design of God will be impious, insupportable.

    The Silent Isle Arthur Christopher Benson
  • And you can say that this place is a foul imposture; this holy image an impious fraud!

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • They are impious, but even in being so they consider themselves as following, and as practising, genuine piety.

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 6 (of 10) Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
  • I might have slain him to dissolve the impious bond, yet I obeyed what is written.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • In Sumatra and Borneo certain old trees are held to be sacred, and the Dyaks would regard their destruction as an impious act.

    The Sacred Tree J. H. Philpot
British Dictionary definitions for impious


lacking piety or reverence for a god; ungodly
lacking respect; undutiful
Derived Forms
impiously, adverb
impiousness, 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 impious

1590s, from Latin impius "without reverence, irreverent, wicked; undutiful, unpatriotic," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + pius (see pious). Related: Impiously; impiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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