valve

noun
\ ˈvalv How to pronounce valve (audio) \

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 How to pronounce valved (audio) \ adjective
valveless \ ˈvalv-​ləs How to pronounce valveless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of valve in a Sentence

They turned off the main water valve to the house.
Recent Examples on the Web Many homeowners want larger showers, with amenities including dual shower heads, bench seats, a handheld showering fixture, body sprays, digital shower valve, large recessed shampoo niches and frameless glass. Jeff Reina, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: Why should you consider a tub-to-shower conversion?," 1 Feb. 2020 Human heart valves, for instance, are now being 3D printed through several different processes although none have been transplanted into people yet. Ana Santos Rutschman, The Conversation, "3D printing of body parts is coming fast – but regulations are not ready," 10 Jan. 2020 So in the summer of 2018, Elrod settled in at his desk, strewn with brass valves, a pressure tester and a smiling jade Buddha from a Chinese supplier, and began typing. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, "How Trump’s Trade War Is Making Lobbyists Rich And Slamming Small Businesses," 6 Jan. 2020 If the system has a heater coolant valve, close it by moving the temperature control lever or knob to cold. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Flush Your Radiator and Cooling System," 11 Dec. 2019 And others had specific technical characteristics, such as a certain valve, that only Iranian missiles have. NBC News, "Officials: U.S. Navy seizes suspected Iranian missile parts set for Yemen," 4 Dec. 2019 The water main break Thursday was the result of a faulty valve, a city spokesman said. David Selig, sun-sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale boil-water notice will continue into next week after failed tests," 5 Oct. 2019 Ultrasound can reveal a leaking heart valve, expose a torn tendon, and give parents an early snapshot of their baby within the womb. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Ultrasound can ‘see’ when tumor cells turn genes on and off," 26 Sep. 2019 An inspection also may include factors such as the pilot flame or electronic igniter, the valve pressure, the heat-exchange area, the gas-log positioning and any electrical connections. John Nugent, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor View: Put another log on the fire," 25 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for valve

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for valve

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Valve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valve. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for valve

valve

noun
How to pronounce valve (audio)

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 How to pronounce valve (audio) \

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 How to pronounce valve (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for valve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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