• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Pietist (Eccl. Hist) One of a class of religious reformers in Germany in the 17th century who sought to revive declining piety in the Protestant churches; -- often applied as a term of reproach to those who make a display of religious feeling. Also used adjectively.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pietist One of a class of religious reformers in Germany in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Their principles as defined by the originator of the movement, Spener (latter part of the seventeenth century), included the more earnest study of the Bible, the participation of the laity in the spiritual work of the church, a more practical type of piety, charity in the treatment of heretics, infidels, and others, a reorganization of the systems of religious and theological instruction in accordance with these principles, and a more enlightened style of preaching. Spener's disciples were led into extravagances of feeling; hence the term is sometimes applied opprobriously to any one who lays stress on mere emotionalism in religion, as distinguished from intelligent belief and practical life.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Pietist one marked by strong devotional feeling: a name first applied to a sect of German religious reformers of deep devotional feeling (end of 17th century)
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. G. pietist, F. piétiste,. See Piety
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. piété—L. pietas.


In literature:

Nor was he slow to perceive that this liberal pietist was cast in an unusual mold.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
This question divides Protestants into rationalists and pietists.
"The History of Freedom" by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
In fact, I was in a fair way of becoming a Pietist.
"Eyes Like the Sea" by Mór Jókai
The pietist has dishonoured himself to no purpose.
"Rationalism" by John Mackinnon Robertson
Then, again, the whole thing is a little too pietistic for ordinary use.
"Aletta" by Bertram Mitford
Evidently, though a cultured woman, she was not a pietist.
"Women of the Teutonic Nations" by Hermann Schoenfeld
Spener and the Pietists of Halle.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 1" by Various
That many of the Pietists might lose themselves in extravagancies and dangerous by-ways, is easily comprehensible.
"Pictures of German Life in the XVIIIth and XIXth Centuries, Vol. I." by Gustav Freytag
Freylinghausen's "Geistreiches Gesangbuch" became the standard hymn-book of the Pietistic movement.
"The Story of Our Hymns" by Ernest Edwin Ryden
Baumgarten, though he did not renounce the Pietistic doctrine, began the process which Semler completed.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Slice 4" by Various

In news:

It is Sefer Hasidim, or The Book of the Pious, the first edition, from Bologna, of the vast trove of precepts and stories, at once severe and wild, of the Jewish pietists of Germany in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The writer of the letter "Die is cast -- for a while" made a critical remark: "The pietists and the Pharisees won.
And here's what a newsmaking Marxist pietist turned Republican incendiary has to say about it.