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

Synonyms for valve

Synonyms

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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 Of course, the international market can also provide a relief valve for excess Gulf Coast supplies, but the extent to which this happens will depend on price and logistical considerations. Baker Institute, Forbes, "The Colonial Pipeline Outage: An Important Lesson For US Energy Security," 11 May 2021 Some filters open a flush valve every time the system is charged. Richard Restuccia, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garden Mastery: 6 steps to prep your irrigation system for the growing season," 8 May 2021 The public will be denied the benefits of outdoor recreation as a relief valve after 18 months of COVID restrictions and CO2 emissions will continue unabated for the lack of a nonthreatening change to state policy. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: State parks and the GOP's threat, Hennepin Avenue transit," 5 May 2021 Beware single-layer bandannas or lightweight neck gaiters, and avoid anything with a vent or a valve, which protects only the wearer. New York Times, "How Risky Are Indoor Sports This Winter?," 17 Nov. 2020 Neck gaiters and face masks with a breathing valve will not be permitted. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Akron RubberDucks increase seating capacity at Canal Park with ‘Responsible Reopening’ plan," 29 Apr. 2021 The injury will be a pressure-relief valve, giving Steve Kerr, Bob Myers, the media, the fans, and Wiseman himself a break from the tension that’s been building all season, really since the 2019 NBA Finals. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Wiseman's injury could be a sanity break for Warriors, Wiseman," 11 Apr. 2021 The next morning, as the plane taxied on the runway, a faulty valve dumped fuel from the tank, splashing gasoline everywhere. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, "Female pilot competed with Amelia Earhart in Powel Crosley’s plane," 11 Apr. 2021 After the test, there was another setback when NASA and Boeing had to replace a valve inside the rocket. Washington Post, "NASA faces key engine test of its massive SLS moon rocket," 18 Mar. 2021

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

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Valve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valve. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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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