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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.