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

Photo: Brand New Images / Getty Images Acid Reflux This condition can occur when the valve between the esophagus and stomach isn't working properly, causing the acidic contents of the stomach to pass up into the esophagus. Linda Diproperzio, Woman's Day, "Sleep Your Way to Better Health," 20 May 2011 There's the initial noise level peak, which is associated with the flush valve opening. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Using Physics To Build a Quieter Airplane Toilet," 5 Apr. 2019 The best way to protect the leadership pipeline is to stop clogging the valves. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Eisenhower Code: Happy to Serve, Reluctant to Lead," 7 Dec. 2018 There are no easy solutions, including chemical solutions, to cleaning the valves. Bob Weber, chicagotribune.com, "Drivers can ship your car cross country," 8 July 2018 Sadie was the first child in that particular trial to receive the valve. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Toddler Thriving After Getting World's Tiniest Heart Valve as Infant: We Knew 'She Could Die'," 10 Apr. 2018 Their idea: Put open-cell foam into an airtight, fabric case with a valve to manually regulate internal air pressure. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "The Machine That Built Your Therm-a-Rest Just Retired," 30 Mar. 2018 Cadillac also added a sport exhaust system with active valves for a livelier soundtrack. Tony Markovich, Car and Driver, "2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport Puts a V-8 Under the Hood," 21 Mar. 2018 Moccasin is like a valve in the system’s heart — 300 million gallons of water flow through the town every day in the summer. Bill Van Niekerken, San Francisco Chronicle, "Hetch Hetchy water’s long trip from Sierra to San Francisco," 6 Mar. 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

24 May 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

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