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pittance

[pit-ns] /ˈpɪt 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 of pittance
1175-1225
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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British Dictionary definitions for pittance

pittance

/ˈpɪtəns/
noun
1.
a small amount or portion, esp a meagre allowance of money
Word Origin
C16: from Old French pietance ration, ultimately from Latin pietās duty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pittance
n.

c.1200, "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 pitié (see pity). Meaning "small amount, portion" first recorded 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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