im·​pi·​ous ˈim-pē-əs How to pronounce impious (audio) (ˌ)im-ˈpī- How to pronounce impious (audio)
: not pious : lacking in reverence or proper respect (as for God or one's parents) : irreverent
impiously adverb

Examples of impious in a Sentence

He was fearful of seeming impious. an impious act that horrified their pious mother
Recent Examples on the Web This game must have seemed profane to the Greeks, or even impious. Simone Weil, Harper's Magazine, 22 May 2024 Both narratives, private and public, differently restrict our access, so the ideal historian will need great tact and an impious curiosity. James Wood, The New Yorker, 4 Sep. 2023 Sarah Thompson, the MFA’s curator of Japanese Art, and curatorial assistant Kendall DeBoer, who put the show’s more than 350 works together, deserve credit for being impious, not reverent. Globe Staff,, 23 Mar. 2023 Some seem startlingly impious. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, 18 Aug. 2020 To cut short these death throes is both impious (for those who believe) and immoral (for anyone). Michel Houellebecq, Harper’s Magazine , 6 Jan. 2023 Bragadin’s cash was funding heavy gambling and elaborate, impious scenes of seduction. Clare Bucknell, Harper’s Magazine , 26 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin impius, from in- + pius pious

First Known Use

1542, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impious was in 1542

Dictionary Entries Near impious

Cite this Entry

“Impious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


im·​pi·​ous ˈim-pē-əs How to pronounce impious (audio) (ˈ)im-ˈpī- How to pronounce impious (audio)
: not pious : irreverent
impiously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on impious

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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