From Old French pitance, pitence, from Medieval Latin *pietāntia, from Latin pietās (piety).


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɪtəns/, [ˈpʰɪʔn̩s]
  • Hyphenation: pit‧tance


pittance (plural pittances)

  1. A small allowance of food and drink; a scanty meal.
  2. A meagre allowance of money or wages.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 5
      So I went to keep house with him at the Why Not? and my aunt sent down my bag of clothes, and would have made over to Elzevir the pittance that my father left for my keep, but he said it was not needful, and he would have none of it.
  3. A small amount.


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Derived termsEdit