Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

valence

play
noun va·lence \ˈvā-lən(t)s\

Simple Definition of valence

  • chemistry : the amount of power of an atom which is determined by the number of electrons the atom will lose, gain, or share when it forms compounds

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of valence

  1. 1 :  the degree of combining power of an element as shown by the number of atomic weights of a monovalent element (as hydrogen) with which the atomic weight of the element will combine or for which it can be substituted or with which it can be compared

  2. 2 a :  relative capacity to unite, react, or interact (as with antigens or a biological substrate) b :  the degree of attractiveness an individual, activity, or thing possesses as a behavioral goal <the relative potency of the valences of success and failure — Leon Festinger>

Origin of valence

Late Latin valentia power, capacity, from Latin valent-, valens, present participle of valēre to be strong — more at wield


First Known Use: 1884

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


Valence

play
geographical name Va·lence \va-ˈläⁿs\

Definition of Valence

  1. commune SE France S of Lyon pop 64,222




Medical Dictionary

valence

play
noun va·lence \ˈvā-lən(t)s\

Medical Definition of valence

  1. 1a:  the degree of combining power of an element or radical as shown by the number of atomic weights of a monovalent element (as hydrogen) with which the atomic weight of the element or the partial molecular weight of the radical will combine or for which it can be substituted or with which it can be comparedb:  a unit of valence <the four valences of carbon>

  2. 2a:  relative capacity to unite, react, or interact (as with antigens or a biological substrate)b:  the degree of attractiveness an individual, activity, or object possesses as a behavioral goal <the relative potency of the valences of success and failure—Leon Festinger>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up valence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to manage or play awkwardly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove perplex reduce soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ