Difficult Words : Pious and Philistine

Difficult Words : Pious and Philistine

Philistine (FIL i steen) n: a smugly ignorant person with no appreciation of intellectual or artistic matters

• The novelist dismissed his critics as philistines, saying they wouldn’t recognize a good book if it crawled up and bit them on the nose. The critics, in reply, dismissed the novelist as a philistine who wouldn't recognize a good book if it crawled up and rolled itself into his typewriter.

Philistine can also be an adjective.

• To be philistine is to act like a philistine.

Pious (PYE us) adj: reverent or devout, outwardly (and sometimes falsely) reverent or devout, hypocritical

• This is a sometimes confusing word with meanings that are very nearly opposite to each other.

• A pious Presbyterian is one who goes to church every Sunday and says his prayers every night before bed. Pious in this sense means something like religiously dutiful.

Pious can also be used to describe feelings or behavior that aren't religious at all but are quite hypocritical. The adulterous minister's sermon on martial fidelity was filled with pious disregard for his own sins.

• The state of being pious is piety.

• The opposite of pious is impious(IM pe us). Note the pronunciation.

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