Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Roman Catholic Church A tax of one penny per household paid in medieval England to the Papal See.
  • n. Roman Catholic Church An annual voluntary contribution made by Roman Catholics toward the expenses of the Holy See. Also called hearth money.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See penny.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an annual contribution made by Roman Catholics to support the papal see

Etymologies

Middle English Peteres pens, pl. of Peteres peni : Peteres, genitive of Peter, Saint Peter (from the tradition that Saint Peter founded the papacy) + peni, penny; see penny.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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