Accidence - accident - accidents

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Accidence and accidents sound exactly the same, except in the most careful speech.

  • accidents is the plural of accident. It means 'more than one [unfortunate] happening'.
  • Accidence however is a technical term in the study of language. It is the grammar of the changes in words to reflect their grammatical use. This was traditionally referred to as conjugation (of verbs) and declension (of nouna).
For a further note on this pattern of spellings and pronunciations, see -nce - -nts.
AWE has a Table collecting some of the words that fall into this pattern.