Etymology
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pittance (n.)

c. 1200, pitaunce, "pious donation to a religious house or order to provide extra food; the extra food provided," also "a small portion, scanty rations," from Old French pitance "pity, mercy, compassion; refreshment, nourishment; portion of food allowed a monk or poor person by a pious bequest," apparently literally "pity," from the source pity. Perhaps via Medieval Latin *pietantia, from an assumed verb *pietare, or otherwise derived from Latin pietas. Meaning "small amount, portion, or quantity" is attested by 1560s.

updated on June 27, 2020

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Definitions of pittance from WordNet

pittance (n.)
an inadequate payment;
they work all day for a mere pittance
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.