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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 man was Louis Armstrong, sitting playing with the valves on his trumpet. Longreads, "The Story of Country Music’s Great Songwriting Duo," 3 Sep. 2019 Rossington underwent a procedure on July 31 to repair the valve. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, "Lynyrd Skynyrd postpones Bay Area shows due to Gary Rossington’s heart surgery," 13 Aug. 2019 Adults and older children should know where the main water supply shut-off valve is and how to turn it off, Worters says. Washington Post, "Liz Weston: Is your wealth dripping away?," 23 July 2019 Adults and older children should know where the main water supply shut-off valve is and how to turn it off, Worters said. Liz Weston, Dallas News, "5 tips to help prevent water damage, which outranks theft and fire for home claims," 23 July 2019 SpaceX also performed a series of tests of the flammability of the valve’s titanium components at the company’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. Chabeli Herrera, orlandosentinel.com, "SpaceX now knows why its astronaut capsule exploded — and more delays are likely," 15 July 2019 Mazda traced the problem to a software error in the computer that controls the valves as part of the vehicles’ fuel-saving cylinder deactivation technology. BostonGlobe.com, "GE employees in Lynn reject contract," 11 July 2019 The revision gets rid of redundant tests on wells and blowout preventers, the specialized valves that quickly seal wells to prevent oil spills. Robert L. Bradley Jr., National Review, "Green Groups Fight Trump’s Oil-Drilling Deregulation," 26 June 2019 Wisz was diagnosed as an infant with aortic stenosis, a heart condition that causes the narrowing of the aortic valve and restricts blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. Allen Kim, CNN, "She needed open-heart surgery, but she was determined to help her team win a championship first," 24 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about valve

Statistics for valve

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for valve

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on valve

What made you want to look up valve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!