early 15c., "periodical payment; soldier's pay," from Latin stipendium "tax, impost, tribute," in military use "pay, salary," from stips "alms, small payment, contribution of money, gift" + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). According to Klein's sources, the first element is related to Latin stipes "log, stock, trunk of a tree" (see stipe). For the financial sense of the Latin verb, see pound (n.1). As a verb from late 15c.
updated on March 21, 2020