pietà

noun

pie·​tà ˌpē-(ˌ)ā-ˈtä How to pronounce pietà (audio)
pyā-
often capitalized
: a representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the dead body of Christ

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web There’s a three-story wooden church with a ghostly pieta residing in one of its pews, and a reconstructed Maine general store containing many of the original’s actual furnishings and features. Howard Fishman, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2022 Stephen Reichard, once a handsome art dealer and consultant who liked to dress in sharp, expensive suits, is naked and skeletal from AIDS, a pieta on a hard wooden chair. New York Times, 4 May 2022 Begun a decade before the sculptor’s death, the piece originally featured the fallen Christ and the mourning Madonna as robust, supple figures, as in his most famous pieta, now at St. Peter’s Basilica. Michael J. Bailey, BostonGlobe.com, 18 June 2019 The last one, in particular, accompanies an emotionally powerful moment, and seeing this sort of negative image of a pieta could create something incredibly moving. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, 1 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pietà.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Italian, literally, pity, from Latin pietat-, pietas

First Known Use

circa 1660, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pietà was circa 1660

Dictionary Entries Near pietà

Cite this Entry

“Pietà.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piet%C3%A0. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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