Peter's pence

noun, plural in form but singular in construction

Definition of Peter's pence

1 : an annual tribute of a penny formerly paid by each householder in England to the papal see
2 : a voluntary annual contribution made by Roman Catholics to the pope

First Known Use of Peter's pence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Peter's pence

Middle English; from the tradition that St. Peter founded the papal see

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Peter's pence

Time Traveler for Peter's pence

Time Traveler

The first known use of Peter's pence was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for Peter's pence

Cite this Entry

“Peter's pence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

Comments on Peter's pence

What made you want to look up Peter's pence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!