valve

noun
\ ˈvalv \

Definition of valve

1a : any of numerous mechanical devices by which the flow of liquid, gas, or loose material in bulk may be started, stopped, or regulated by a movable part that opens, shuts, or partially obstructs one or more ports or passageways also : the movable part of such a device
b : a device in a brass instrument for quickly channeling air flow through an added length of tube in order to change the fundamental tone by some definite interval
c chiefly British : electron tube
2 [ borrowed from Medieval Latin valva, going back to Latin ] : a bodily structure (such as the mitral valve) that closes temporarily a passage or orifice or permits movement of fluid in one direction only
3 [ borrowed from New Latin valva, going back to Latin ] : one of the distinct usually hinged and movable pieces of which the shell of some shell-bearing animals (such as lamellibranch mollusks, brachiopods, and barnacles) consists

4 [ borrowed from New Latin valva, going back to Latin ]

a : one of the segments or pieces into which a dehiscing capsule or legume separates
b : the portion of various anthers (as of the barberry) resembling a lid
c : one of the two encasing membranes of a diatom
5 archaic : a leaf of a folding or double door

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Other Words from valve

valved \ ˈvalvd \ adjective
valveless \ ˈvalv-​ləs \ adjective

Synonyms for valve

Synonyms

cock, faucet, gate, spigot, stopcock, tap

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Examples of valve in a Sentence

They turned off the main water valve to the house.

Recent Examples on the Web

Before you step inside, a standing tap on the floor is used to fill the tub, then once you're done soaking, the water is released through a valve at its base and completely disposed through a drain located in the floor directly below. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Hammock Bathtub Is Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen Before," 28 Aug. 2018 In suitable patients, two to eight valves are strategically placed in tiny airways using a scope that is threaded through the mouth into the lungs. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Emphysema patients get new option as FDA approves lung valves studied at Temple," 29 June 2018 The valve had been installed in 1997 after he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Arnold Schwarzenegger, post-heart surgery, says he feels 'much better'," 12 Apr. 2018 Moreover, last year the contractor found that eight of 16 valves in the spacecraft's thrusters were leaking beyond acceptable levels. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "James Webb Telescope sun shield snags, further launch delays likely," 28 Feb. 2018 The only way to fix her faulty valve was with intensive open heart surgery. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "This Teen's Bad Cold Turned Out to Be a Deadly Bacterial Infection," 31 Jan. 2018 These are the control valves in the boiler room at Camp North End. Ely Portillo, charlotteobserver, "How a Charlotte factory where Ford Model Ts and missiles were built found new life," 25 Jan. 2018 The water level is controlled by a valve system under Loop 820 that allows water to drain into Cement Creek. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "This Fort Worth quarry will be transformed with hotels, a beach and even a ferris wheel | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 Mar. 2018 New York design studio Roman and Williams imaginatively preserved the turn-of-the-century industrial accents—like the mottled network of pipes and valves in the lobby. Mike Sutter, WSJ, "The Best Under-the-Radar Food Destination in the U.S.," 19 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valve.' 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 valve

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for valve

Middle English, "leaf of a folding door," borrowed from Latin valva (usually in plural valvae) "double or folding door, leaf of such a door," perhaps going back to an early derivative of the base of volvere "to roll, make turn" — more at voluble

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Statistics for valve

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for valve

The first known use of valve was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for valve

valve

noun

English Language Learners Definition of valve

: a mechanical device that controls the flow of liquid, gas, etc., by opening and closing

: a device in some musical instruments (such as trumpets) that you press to play different notes

medical : a structure in the heart, stomach, etc., that temporarily stops the flow of fluid or that allows fluid to move in one direction only

valve

noun
\ ˈvalv \

Kids Definition of valve

1 : a structure in the body that temporarily closes to prevent passage of material or allow movement of a fluid in one direction only a heart valve
2 : a mechanical device by which the flow of liquid, gas, or loose material may be controlled by a movable part
3 : a device on a brass musical instrument that changes the pitch of the tone
4 : one of the separate pieces that make up the shell of some animals (as clams) and are often hinged

valve

noun
\ ˈvalv \

Medical Definition of valve

1 : a bodily structure (as the mitral valve) that closes temporarily a passage or orifice or permits movement of fluid in one direction only
2 : any of various mechanical devices by which the flow of liquid (as blood) may be started, stopped, or regulated by a movable part that opens, shuts, or partially obstructs one or more ports or passageways also : the movable part of such a device

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More from Merriam-Webster on valve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with valve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for valve

Spanish Central: Translation of valve

Nglish: Translation of valve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of valve for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about valve

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