noun British.
a plural of penny; used in referring to a sum of money rather than to the coins themselves (often used in combination): sixpence; The fare was 15 pence.

1275–1325; Middle English pens, pans

penceless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pence (pɛns)
a plural of penny
usage  Since the decimalization of British currency and the introduction of the abbreviation p, as in 10p, 85p, etc, the abbreviation has tended to replace pence in speech, as in 4p , 12p , etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1393, contraction of penies, collective plural of penny.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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