- an annual tax, orig. of one penny, paid to the papal see by certain English property owners before the Reformation
- an annual voluntary donation made by Catholics everywhere to the papal see
See Peter's pence in American Heritage Dictionary 4
noun Roman Catholic Church
- A tax of one penny per household paid in medieval England to the Papal See.
- An annual voluntary contribution made by Roman Catholics toward the expenses of the Holy See. Also called hearth money.
Origin: Middle English Peteres pens
Origin: , pl. of Peteres peni
Origin: : Peteres
Origin: , genitive of Peter, Saint Peter (from the tradition that Saint Peter founded the papacy)
Origin: + peni, penny; see penny