- any small sum set aside for nonessential minor expenditures.
- (formerly) an allowance of money given by a husband to his wife for her personal expenditures.
- an allowance by a husband to his wife for personal expenditure
- money saved or earned to be used for incidental expenses
Small amounts of money for incidental expenses, as in Grandma usually gives the children some pin money whenever she visits. This expression originally signified money given by a husband to his wife for small personal expenditures such as pins, which were very costly items in centuries past. A will recorded at York in 1542 listed a bequest: “I give my said daughter Margarett my lease of the parsonage . . . to buy her pins.” [Early 1500s]