Pronunciation: (pī'i-tiz"um), [key]
1. a movement, originating in the Lutheran Church in Germany in the 17th century, that stressed personal piety over religious formality and orthodoxy.
2. the principles and practices of the Pietists.
3. (l.c.) intensity of religious devotion or feeling.
4. (l.c.) exaggeration or affectation of piety.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.