I've checked WikiDiff for the difference between expence and expense wanting to verify that it's corresponding to licence (the object or permission to do something) and license (the act of issuing said object or establishing/accreditation of said permission).

However, the explanation hit me with whoosh big time. I simply can't determine what's being said. I can't exclude error in the text, of course, but being humble I want to investigate if it might be me.

As nouns the difference between expense and expence is that expense is a spending or consuming often specifically an act of disbursing or spending funds while expence is.

Also, on top of that, it got me confused and uncertain about the actual difference so +1 to whoever answers that too.

  • The sentence you quoted is incomplete. It cuts off abruptly without finishing. ". . .while expence is" [what?] However, that's how it's written on the site itself. Also, the sentence as a whole is very awkard. That alone brings WikiDiff as a good source of information into question. You'd do far better to use one of the major dictionaries. Apr 13, 2019 at 16:29
  • @JasonBassford You just confirmed my impression. I was afraid that not being NSE, I somehow miss the target of the last part. Something along the lines of my dog isn't angry, while yours is. In my language, it's very awkward but in English it flies just fine. Apr 13, 2019 at 19:51
  • In that phrase, it's okay. Because it's contrasting something that isn't with something that is. But in the quoted sentence, there's nothing to understand, even by omission. Apr 13, 2019 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


"Expence" is an obsolete spelling of "expense" (like whiche and laste and many, many others) and should not be used. You might see "expence" in archaic documents, but in modern documents it's simply a spelling mistake.

Example from "The Expence of University Education Reduced: In a Letter to A. B. Fellow E.C." (1733)

The Expence requiſite to Education has Limits, and may be known to a certainty within a trifle. The Expence occaſion'd by Idleneſs, or Humour, or Vanity, or Luxury, or Affected Hoſpitality is Infinite, or, at leaſt, hath no other.

Note the long s (ſ) which is pronounced like "s", as well as the capitalization of certain nouns, both of which no longer appear in modern English.

  • OK, technically speaking, +1 for the reassurance of how to spell it. However, the main question is about WikiDiff. Is is plain, butt-ugly wrong? I'm evaluating it a a future source of references so I'd like to know if it's a red flag. Apr 13, 2019 at 15:44
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    @KonradViltersten It seems to me that WikiDiff is not itself a dictionary but instead uses some kind of algorithm to compare different sources. It seems to do little (if anything) to verify those sources, so, while it can be a helpful resource, it's not a reliable tool for primary research.
    – Andrew
    Apr 13, 2019 at 15:50

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