descendence, descendents

The words descendence, descendents sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do descendence, descendents sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: descendence, descendents are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The act of descending.

  1. :: noun

    Common misspelling of descendants.

Definitions from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").