petty cash


Definition of petty cash

: cash kept on hand for payment of minor items

Examples of petty cash in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One of my duties was being in charge of petty cash. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Hi, Bob! Comic legend Bob Newhart to perform at first-ever Minneapolis Comedy Fest," 20 June 2019 The fine is mere petty cash as Facebook reportedly earned nearly $6 billion profit in the first quarter this year. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Facebook faces over $650G fine in Britain over data misuse scandal," 11 July 2018 The Financial Times reported on allegations that Sorrell had visited a prostitute, paid the bill in petty cash, and had mistreated his assistants and sacked his chauffeur after a 12-day shift. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "Martin Sorrell fires back at allegations in heated exchange at Cannes Lions," 22 June 2018 The safe contained petty cash for the business and likely did not have more than $300 inside, according to the report. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burglars pry open safe in New Berlin business," 5 June 2018 The shoot takes about two hours, and then Richard changes into dry clothes and a warm jacket and gets his dollar from petty cash. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "How the only successful Alcatraz prison break in history was torn from the pages of Popular Mechanics.," 18 Jan. 2018 Duke freely takes money from his office's petty cash box and uses it at poker games and to buy fancy golf clubs. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Film / We're Old The writer-director of White Men Can’t Jump returns to put you to sleep," 12 Dec. 2017 None of these contracts can exactly be covered by the petty cash jar. Alex Hickey, ajc, "Buying out Ed Orgeron is an absurdly unrealistic solution for LSU," 3 Oct. 2017 The deep-pocket Cubs, whose revenue sources make the Brewers’ look like a petty cash drawer, began the season with a $172 million payroll, which has increased through second-half additions such as Jose Quintana. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: With lowest payroll among contenders, Brewers got bang for their bucks," 9 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of petty cash

1715, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for petty cash

The first known use of petty cash was in 1715

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More Definitions for petty cash

petty cash


Financial Definition of petty cash

What It Is

Petty cash is money kept on-hand, generally, by businesses for making change for clients and to cover minor costs.

How It Works

Petty cash is commonly associated with storefront-type businesses who deal with clients who may pay in cash. A petty cash supply allows such business to more easily make change for large denominations of currency. Petty cash may also be used for small ad hoc costs that arise (e.g. light bulbs, soap, pens, etc.).

To illustrate, suppose store XYZ keeps a collection of petty cash on hand. A client is purchasing an item that costs $50 and is paying with a $100 bill.  The store only has $100 bills in the register. The cashier can offset the difference by giving the client $50 from the petty cash supply.

Why It Matters

Petty cash allows businesses dealing in cash to operate more efficiently by allowing them to provide their cash-paying client with change. Additionally, a petty cash supply allows businesses to easily cover small, but often immediate, needs.

Source: Investing Answers

petty cash


English Language Learners Definition of petty cash

: a small amount of money that is kept in an office in order to pay for small items

More from Merriam-Webster on petty cash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petty cash

Nglish: Translation of petty cash for Spanish Speakers

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