pin money

See synonyms for pin money on
  1. any small sum set aside for nonessential minor expenditures.

  2. (formerly) an allowance of money given by a husband to his wife for her personal expenditures.

Origin of pin money

First recorded in 1535–45

Other words from pin money

  • pin-money, adjective

Words Nearby pin money Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pin money in a sentence

  • Jobs in retail and hospitality, for example, were considered “women’s jobs” for “pin money,” Lichtenstein said.

    The death of the job | Anna North | August 24, 2021 | Vox
  • This we suppose to have been the last argument used against offenders whose wages or whose pin-money had been sworn away.

  • Take it all in—and I reckon this is all—we'll be in luck to pinch a little pin-money out of the estate for Sylvia.

    A Hoosier Chronicle | Meredith Nicholson
  • He allows you liberally for pin-money in addition to your own small independent income.

  • He has been taught economy; he is, like me, naturally of a very generous turn; he will occasionally offer you pin-money.

    Ruth Hall | Fanny Fern
  • A very nice little sum for pin money, but quite useless for our purposes.

    Flaming June | Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

British Dictionary definitions for pin money

pin money

  1. an allowance by a husband to his wife for personal expenditure

  2. money saved or earned to be used for incidental expenses

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with pin money

pin money

Small amounts of money for incidental expenses, as in Grandma usually gives the children some pin money whenever she visits. This expression originally signified money given by a husband to his wife for small personal expenditures such as pins, which were very costly items in centuries past. A will recorded at York in 1542 listed a bequest: “I give my said daughter Margarett my lease of the parsonage . . . to buy her pins.” [Early 1500s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.