Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
n. Roman Catholic Church
1. A tax of one penny per household paid in medieval England to the Papal See.
2. An annual voluntary contribution made by Roman Catholics toward the expenses of the Holy See. Also called hearth money.
[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 penny1.]
1. (Historical Terms) an annual tax, originally of one penny, formerly levied for the maintenance of the Papal See: abolished by Henry VIII in 1534
2. (Roman Catholic Church) a voluntary contribution made by Roman Catholics in many countries for the same purpose
[C13: referring to St Peter, considered as the first pope]
or Pe′ter pence`,
1. an annual tax of a penny from each household, formerly paid to the papal see.
2. a voluntary contribution to the pope, made by Roman Catholics.