Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: pitance 'piety, pity', from Latin pietas; PITY1

pittance

noun
     
pit‧tance [singular]
a very small amount of money, especially wages, that is less than someone needs or deserves
earn/be paid a pittance
The musicians earn a pittance.
work/be sold for a pittance
The crop was sold for a pittance.
She raised three children on a pittance.

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