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

Space cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War served as a crucial pressure release valve in times of high tensions. Bryan Nakayama, Fortune, "3 Reasons Trump’s New Space Force Would Be a Disaster," 21 June 2018 As President Trump and his conservative allies have alleged cascading abuses at the Justice Department, the department’s leaders have seemed to use Horowitz as a pressure release valve. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "As Justice Dept. inspector general moves from Clinton email to Russia and Trump, he risks becoming a political weapon," 1 June 2018 In many ways, Giuliani, who is prosecuting the case against Mueller in the court of public opinion, has served as a helpful release valve for Trump, this person added. Author: Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "With new West Wing cast, Trump calls shots, aides follow," 29 May 2018 But the new law may not serve as a significant release valve to offset the rise in elderly and ailing inmates. Jenifer Mckim, BostonGlobe.com, "With aging prison population, Massachusetts looks to possible cost-saving, compassionate fix," 21 May 2018 As a team tinkered on an insulation tower, a safety release valve failed and caused an over-pressurization in the piping, which sparked the explosion and sent a fireball into the sky. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Worker files $1 million lawsuit against Pasadena industrial plant after fiery explosion," 20 May 2018 Usually, hospitals go on bypass for a few hours at a time, asking that dispatchers send emergencies to other hospitals in the region as a kind of pressure-release valve when their beds and waiting rooms are packed with patients. Paul Sisson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "UC San Diego hospitals begin to divert patients as strike looks likely," 5 May 2018 The challenge here is not just that printing human tissue is hard, but that human hearts are very complex structures, with muscles, nerves, ventricles, valves, and blood vessels. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "This Patch of 3D-Printed Flesh Is a Step Toward a Full 3D-Printed Heart," 3 July 2018 Just two weeks ago, Centeno Santos received a new heart valve through a non-invasive procedure at Osceola Regional Medical Center. Maria Elena Vizcaino, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Puerto Rican evacuee is 100th patient for new procedure at Osceola Regional: 'Now I can live longer'," 3 July 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, borrowed from Latin valva (usually in plural valvae), perhaps going back to an early derivative of the base of volvere "to roll, make turn" — more at voluble

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Phrases Related to valve

brake/valve job

Statistics for valve

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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 \

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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