va·​lance ˈva-lən(t)s How to pronounce valance (audio) ˈvā- How to pronounce valance (audio)
: a drapery hung along the edge of a bed, table, altar, canopy, or shelf
: a short drapery or wood or metal frame used as a decorative heading to conceal the top of curtains and fixtures
valanced adjective

Illustration of valance

Illustration of valance
  • V valance 1

Examples of valance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The deep teal window panels and valance in this primary bedroom add an element of sophisticated drama to an otherwise neutral room, and draw the eyes up to create a sense of height. Maria Sabella, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2023 Mounting the valance at the ceiling draws your eye up, emphasizing the room's height. Molly Miller, House Beautiful, 21 June 2023 In their places sit slit-like headlights and a simpler and more upright front valance. Greg S. Fink, Car and Driver, 14 Apr. 2023 The valance is applied with Velcro! Ann Abel, House Beautiful, 23 June 2022 At the other end of some harmonious character lines, the sedan’s rear lower valance is also EV specific, due to the absence of dual exhaust pipes. Dan Neil, WSJ, 11 Aug. 2022 Openings in the lower front valance provide all the cooling the EV needs. Dan Neil, WSJ, 11 Aug. 2022 When dressing the space’s bay window, the Chapel Hill, N.C., decorator doubled down on scallops by combining tobacco-brown linen curtains edged twice in the motif with a matching, similarly-scoopy box valance. Kathryn O’Shea-Evans, WSJ, 3 Aug. 2022 Almost all awnings have a scalloped or straight valance in the front, a decorative detail that provides additional shade. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 15 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'valance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English valaunce, borrowed from Anglo-French valence, probably from valer "to lower" + -ence, -ance -ance — more at vail

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of valance was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near valance

Cite this Entry

“Valance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


va·​lance ˈval-ən(t)s How to pronounce valance (audio) ˈvāl- How to pronounce valance (audio)
: a short drapery or wood or metal frame (as across the top of a window)

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