1. A meager monetary allowance, wage, or remuneration.
2. A very small amount: not a pittance of remorse.
[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.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.