: a small portion, amount, or allowance; also : a meager wage or remuneration
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.
"… chances are good that any snow that might fall in coming days could be like the pittance of flakes that fell Thursday—and then almost immediately melted." — Neil Johnson, The Janesville (Wisconsin) Gazette, 11 Mar. 2017
"It's a setup worthy of Sherlock Holmes: a museum acquires a work of art for a pittance, not quite realizing what it has on its hands, only to discover, quite casually, that the piece in question is a long-lost work by a canonical artist." — Kirkus Reviews, 24 Feb. 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Antonym
Fill in the blanks to complete an antonym of pittance: b _ o _ le.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP