valence

noun
va·​lence | \ ˈvā-lən(t)s How to pronounce valence (audio) \

Definition of valence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the degree of combining power of an element as shown by the number of atomic weights of a monovalent element (such 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
2a : relative capacity to unite, react, or interact (as with antigens or a biological substrate)
b [in part from valence in chemistry, in part borrowed from Late Latin valentia "power, capacity," noun derivative of Latin valent-, valens, present participle of valēre "to have strength, be well" — more at wield] : 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

Valence

geographical name
Va·​lence | \ va-ˈläⁿs How to pronounce Valence (audio) \

Definition of Valence (Entry 2 of 2)

commune in southeastern France south of Lyon population 63,405

Examples of valence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In On the Record’s later scenes, these comments take on a more rueful valence. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "On the Record and the Women Hip-Hop Sacrifices," 1 June 2020 But while there’s a veneer of innocence to these home movies—an air of the idiot savant’s capacity to unwittingly capture a glimpse of profundity—their most powerful valence is not one of innocence but of self-effacing knowledge. Leslie Jamison, The New York Review of Books, "Other Voices, Other Rooms," 29 Apr. 2020 But as the pandemic continues to deepen existing inequalities, this obliviousness takes on a more pernicious valence. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Celebrities Shouldn’t Be Asking Average People to Donate Right Now," 24 Apr. 2020 His optimism has a radical valence, now that assumptions about baseline human comforts and immediate safety have been upended for so many of us. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Notes From an Apocalypse," 16 Apr. 2020 Besides, the political valence of the coronavirus crisis should be favorable to Trump’s worldview. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The White House Shouldn’t Downplay the Coronavirus," 28 Feb. 2020 But while the analogy is understandable, His House has its own unique valence, one specific to the British and African settings where its story unfolds. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'His House': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 4 Feb. 2020 With a top-down perspective and a tonal valence that's much more surrealist drama than gaming romp, 12 Minutes stands out as a dark and intriguing bit of play. Julie Muncy, Wired, "The 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2020," 11 Jan. 2020 As Blanc’s investigation advances, the political valence of the movie becomes obvious. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Families Are the Murder Victims in Knives Out! and Marriage Story," 19 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of valence

Noun

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for valence

Noun

borrowed from German Valenz, short for Quantivalenz "(chemical) valence," borrowed from English quantivalence, from Latin quantus "how much" + -i- -i- + English -valence, noun derivative from -valent, in univalent entry 1, bivalent entry 1, etc., on the model of equivalent, equivalence — more at quantity

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Time Traveler for valence

Time Traveler

The first known use of valence was in 1884

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Statistics for valence

Last Updated

16 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Valence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valence. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for valence

valence

noun
How to pronounce Valence (audio)

English Language Learners 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

valence

noun
va·​lence | \ ˈvā-lən(t)s How to pronounce valence (audio) \

Medical Definition of valence

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 compared
b : a unit of valence the four valences of carbon
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on valence

Nglish: Translation of valence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of valence for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about valence

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