from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A meager monetary allowance, wage, or remuneration.
- n. A very small amount: not a pittance of remorse.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small allowance of food and drink; a scanty meal.
- n. A meagre allowance of money or wages.
- n. A small amount.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An allowance of food bestowed in charity; a mess of victuals; hence, a small charity gift; a dole.
- n. A meager portion, quantity, or allowance; an inconsiderable salary or compensation.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An allowance or dole of food and drink; hence, any very small portion or allowance assigned or given, whether of food or money; allowance; provision; dole.
- n. An allowance of food or money bestowed in charity; a small charitable gift or payment.
- n. A small portion or quantity; a morsel.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an inadequate payment
Middle English pitance, from Old French, allowance of food to a monk or poor person, from Medieval Latin pietantia, from *pietāns, *pietant-, present participle of *pietāre, to show compassion, from Latin pietās, piety; see pity.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pietantia (Wiktionary)