valve

noun

1
a
: 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
valved adjective
valveless adjective

Example Sentences

They turned off the main water valve to the house.
Recent Examples on the Web Timothy Jay, professor emeritus of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, thinks that humans partly developed taboo language as an emotional release valve. Alex Orlando, Discover Magazine, 1 Nov. 2022 But unlike Apple, Google will allow some employees, with their managers’ blessing, to work remotely indefinitely — a loophole that theoretically, at least, serves as a release valve for dissent. Curbed, 15 June 2022 But there is a release valve – more housing stock is in the pipeline. Lauren Beale, Forbes, 1 June 2022 The King also underwent surgery in 2003 for bladder cancer and another operation for heart valve problems in 2005. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 27 Dec. 2022 But the 52-year-old heart-valve specialist from Meridian, Idaho, won’t have his winnings for long. Dallas News, 16 Dec. 2022 The four-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder V-12 uses electronic sequential-port fuel injection, a variable-length induction system, and, as a first, continuously variable exhaust timing. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 12 Dec. 2022 Tensions escalated when the Brigham self-reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services potential problems with how its Cape cardiac surgeons had documented valve replacement procedures. Jessica Bartlett, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Dec. 2022 Space Saver is a fitting name as the double-zip closure and triple-seal valve keeping things airtight. Rena Behar, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Dec. 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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

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

Dictionary Entries Near valve

Cite this Entry

“Valve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valve. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

valve

noun
1
: a bodily structure (as in a vein or the heart) that closes temporarily to prevent passage of material or that allows movement of a fluid in one direction only
2
a
: a mechanical device by which the flow of liquid, gas, or loose material in bulk may be controlled by a movable part
also : the movable part of such a device
b
: a device in a brass musical instrument for quickly changing the tube length in order to make the tone higher or lower
3
: one of the separate pieces that make up the shell of some animals (as clams) and are often hinged
4
: one of the pieces into which a ripe seed capsule or pod separates
valved adjective

Medical Definition

valve

noun
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

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