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

Other Words from valve

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

Synonyms for valve

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of valve in a Sentence

They turned off the main water valve to the house.
Recent Examples on the Web The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve may stick open, resulting in an unexpected loss of drive power. Detroit Free Press, 13 May 2022 The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve may stick open, resulting in an unexpected loss of drive power. USA TODAY, 13 May 2022 For its part, the AT4X has added underbody protection, electronic locking front and rear diffs, greater suspension travel, and ingenious Multimatic spool-valve dampers that aren't offered on the regular AT4. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 10 May 2022 However, routine maintenance on these types of toilets can be challenging, so work with a plumber to design an aesthetically pleasing access door or valve. Nafeesah Allen, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 May 2022 Pig and cow tissues have been used successfully for valve replacements, according to Harvard University Medical School. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, 6 May 2022 Both had to undergo aortic valve replacement late in 2021 and met a little over a month ago in the same cardiac rehabilitation therapy class. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Apr. 2022 The paint is faded, the dash is cracked, and the valve covers are rusty. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 29 Apr. 2022 For the next several minutes, all that could be heard was the whooshing sound of the radiator’s valve letting off steam. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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 wallow entry 1

Learn More About valve

Time Traveler for valve

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near valve

valvate

valve

valve chest

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for valve

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Valve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valve. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for valve

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

More from Merriam-Webster on valve

Nglish: Translation of valve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of valve for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about valve

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!