pittance

[pit-ns]
noun
1.
a small amount or share.
2.
a small allowance or sum, as of money for living expenses.
3.
a scanty income or remuneration.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English pitaunce < Old French pitance, variant of pietance piety, pity, allowance of food (in a monastery). See pity, -ance

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World English Dictionary
pittance (ˈpɪtəns)
 
n
a small amount or portion, esp a meagre allowance of money
 
[C16: from Old French pietance ration, ultimately from Latin pietās duty]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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). Meaning "small amount, portion" first recorded 1560s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
People wonder if they are earning every possible penny on their pittance.
Cutting civil-service pay seems unfair to officials who earn a pittance.
Untouchables work for a pittance washing clothes at dawn.
The king responded with an insulting reward that was but a pittance for his
  work.
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