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

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

About a cup of liquid oxidizer had leaked into the wrong plumbing, and when the pressure was turned on, that slug of liquid oxidizer impacted a titanium valve. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "SpaceX found the problem that blew up its Crew Dragon spacecraft," 15 July 2019 The fibers could be employed in everything from miniature robots to valves in medical devices. Sid Perkins, Scientific American, "A New Twist on Artificial Muscles," 11 July 2019 One of the most innovative procedures is a transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR. Trihealth, Cincinnati.com, "Common surgical heart treatments," 13 June 2019 Once the coffee is brewed, stacking the lid on top of the bottom vessel activates a valve that allows coffee to drop into the carafe. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "High-design coffee maker looks like a ceramic pot," 12 June 2019 The inspectors found extensive damage to the spillways, diversion dam, valves and pipelines, in addition to severe erosion below the dam. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Moccasin Dam, which came close to failure last year, is repaired and working," 10 June 2019 That meant heart-bypass surgery, replacement of one valve and repair of another. Jonel Aleccia, The Seattle Times, "State laws ban surprise medical bills. A Washington woman got one for $227,000 — and fought back.," 30 Mar. 2019 In one test, investigators duct-taped a pin across an internal valve to simulate an obstruction that would prevent it from closing properly. Steve Thompson, Washington Post, "How federal investigators pieced together the deadly Flower Branch explosion," 28 June 2019 Available at Urban Outfitters, the pool float comes equipped with a cupholder (kind of meta; very necessary), as well as an intuitive valve for super-easy inflation. Glamour, "The Mother of All Pool Floats Is Shaped Like a Rosé Bottle—and It's Only $19," 23 June 2019

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

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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

Comments on valve

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