- a small amount or share.
- a small allowance or sum, as of money for living expenses.
- a scanty income or remuneration.
Origin of pittance
Examples from the Web for pittance
In other words, overtime amounts to only pittance of the overall pay — about $6.50 a week on top of wages of $1,000 a week.The Administration's Thin Complaints About the Sequester
March 6, 2013
In budgetary terms, it was a pittance: 0.1 percent of the CDC's $2.2 billion allocation.The Reason for Our Woeful Lack of Gun Statistics
December 18, 2012
Despite powering the country's economic growth, they receive a pittance of the proceeds.Ghosts in the Machine: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants and Their Uncertain Future
December 10, 2012
Fire officers appreciate that the amount of burning witnessed in recent years is a pittance compared to what is required.Colorado Blazes Remind Us That National Policy on Fire Needs a Fix
Stephen J. Pyne
June 29, 2012
These immigrants are often employed illegally (but also legally) for a pittance, working in factories or as fruit pickers.Missing Women Give Clues to Dead Body Found on Queen’s Estate
January 4, 2012
"You'll go on here to the end of your days, working for a pittance," he objected.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
The thought of going back to a pittance a year sickened him.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
What with Paliser Place, its upkeep and the rest of it, it must be a pittance.The Paliser case
One as rich as he is known to be will not object to a pittance like that.The Last Woman
A pittance of money is obtained, and then they search for a man.Thoughts on Missions
- a small amount or portion, esp a meagre allowance of money
Word Origin and History for pittance
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.