Definition of pittance
: 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
the internship offers only a pittance for a salary, but it is a great opportunity to gain experience
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
First Known Use: 14th century
PITTANCE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pittance for English Language Learners
: a very small amount of money
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up pittance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).