Pittance
Pittance Pit"tance (p[i^]t"tans), n. [OE. pitance, pitaunce, F. pitance; cf. It. pietanza, LL. pitancia, pittantia, pictantia; perh. fr. L. pietas pity, piety, or perhaps akin to E. petty. Cf. {Petty}, and {Pity}.] 1. An allowance of food bestowed in charity; a mess of victuals; hence, a small charity gift; a dole. ``A good pitaunce.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

One half only of this pittance was ever given him in money. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

2. A meager portion, quantity, or allowance; an inconsiderable salary or compensation. ``The small pittance of learning they received.'' --Swift. [1913 Webster]

The inconsiderable pittance of faithful professors. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • pittance — pit‧tance [ˈpɪtns] noun [singular] a very small or unfairly small amount of money: • She gets paid a pittance. * * * pittance UK US /ˈpɪtəns/ noun [S] DISAPPROVING ► a very small amount of money, especially money received as income: earn …   Financial and business terms

  • Pittance — (through French pitance and from Latin pietas, loving kindness) is a gift to the members of a religious house for masses, consisting usually of an extra allowance of food or wine on occasions such as the anniversary of the donor s death festivals …   Wikipedia

  • pittance — index paucity, ration Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • pittance — early 13c., pious donation to a religious house or order to provide extra food, from O.Fr. pitance portion of food allowed a monk or poor person by a pious bequest, lit. pity, from pitié (see PITY (Cf. pity)). Meaning small amount, portion first… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pittance — *ration, allowance, dole …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pittance — [n] small amount allowance, bit, chicken feed*, dribble*, drop*, drop in the bucket*, inadequacy, insufficiency, mite, modicum, peanuts*, pension, portion, ration, scrap*, slave wages*, smidgen, trace, trifle; concepts 344,787 Ant. generosity,… …   New thesaurus

  • pittance — ► NOUN ▪ a very small or inadequate amount of money. ORIGIN originally denoting a small bequest to a religious establishment to provide extra food and wine for a festival: from Old French pitance, from Latin pietas pity …   English terms dictionary

  • pittance — [pit′ ns] n. [ME pitaunce < OFr pitance, portion of food allowed a monk < ML pietantia < LL(Ec) pietas: see PIETY] 1. a small or barely sufficient allowance of money 2. any small amount or share …   English World dictionary

  • pittance — pit|tance [ˈpıtəns] n [singular] [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: pitance piety, pity , from Latin pietas; PITY1] a very small amount of money, especially wages, that is less than someone needs or deserves earn/be paid a pittance ▪ The… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pittance — n. (formal) a mere, small pittance * * * [ pɪt(ə)ns] small pittance (formal) a mere …   Combinatory dictionary

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