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

Yet during shutdown, several of the engine valves failed to close, leading to a propellant leak. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Boeing delays first crucial test flights of its new passenger spacecraft again," 1 Aug. 2018 Instead, all eyes are on negotiations with Morocco, which many in Spain blame for opening or closing the valve of departures from its shores, ahead of talks with the EU on fishing, agricultural and other topics. Aritz Parra, Fox News, "Spain feels the heat as migrants shift route into Europe," 29 June 2018 Instead, all eyes are on negotiations with Morocco, which many in Spain blame for opening or closing the valve of departures from its shores, ahead of talks with the EU on fishing, agricultural and other topics. Washington Post, "Spain feels the heat as migrants shift route into Europe," 29 June 2018 Shimla’s decrepit network of water pipes, built under British colonial rule more than 70 years ago, depends on the civil servants known as key men to open and close the valves that supply each neighborhood. New York Times, "Deadly Tensions Rise as India’s Water Supply Runs Dangerously Low," 17 June 2018 These springs keep engine valves closed when the fuel is being combusted. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Subaru and Toyota to Recall More Than 400,000 Vehicles Globally," 1 Nov. 2018 These valves are designed to improve performance and allow the driver to make the exhaust rumble louder or quieter with the push of a button. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "We Drive the Hot Wheels Chevy Camaro SS," 12 Oct. 2018 Pagan has had heart valve surgery and may soon need a heart transplant. Phil Galewitz, Philly.com, "The Philly health care plan that offers food as medicine," 22 June 2018 Patients were coming in with skin abscesses and heart valve infections over and over again. Catherine Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "As opioid crisis grows, medical schools bolster addiction training," 2 June 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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Statistics for valve

Last Updated

6 Dec 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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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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