pittance

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noun pit·tance \ˈpi-tən(t)s\

Definition of pittance

  1. :  a small portion, amount, or allowance; also :  a meager wage or remuneration

pittance was our Word of the Day on 04/15/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of pittance in a Sentence

  1. the internship offers only a pittance for a salary, but it is a great opportunity to gain experience

Recent Examples of pittance from the Web

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

Did You Know?

It's a pity when you haven't anything but a pittance. And in fact, "pity" and "pittance" share etymological roots. The Middle English word pittance came from Anglo-French pitance, meaning "pity" or "piety." Originally, a "pittance" was a gift or bequest to a religious community, or a small charitable gift. Ultimately, the word comes from the Latin pietas, meaning "piety" or "compassion." Our words "pity" and "piety" come from "pietas" as well.

Origin and Etymology of pittance

Middle English pitance, from Anglo-French, piety, pity, dole, portion, from Medieval Latin pietantia, from pietant-, pietans, present participle of pietari to be charitable, from Latin pietas piety — more at pity


PITTANCE Defined for English Language Learners

pittance

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noun

Definition of pittance for English Language Learners

  • : a very small amount of money



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done merely as a duty

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