• synonyms


[bahy-vey-luh nt, biv-uh-]
  1. Chemistry.
    1. having a valence of two.
    2. having two valences, as aluminum with valences of two and three.
  2. Genetics. pertaining to associations of two homologous chromosomes.
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  1. Genetics. a pair of bivalent chromosomes, especially when pairing during meiosis.
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Origin of bivalent

First recorded in 1865–70; bi-1 + -valent
Related formsbi·va·lence [bahy-vey-luh ns, biv-uh-luh ns] /baɪˈveɪ ləns, ˈbɪv ə ləns/, bi·va·len·cy, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bivalent

Historical Examples of bivalent

  • The antagonistic efficiency of the bivalent cations other than Ca was, however, smaller than that of Ca.

    The Organism as a Whole

    Jacques Loeb

  • For the chromosomes of the heterotype mitosis arise by the looping round, not opening out, of the bivalent chromosomes.

  • Monoxide, mo-nok′sīd, n. an oxide containing a single oxygen atom in combination with two univalent atoms or one bivalent atom.

  • The presence of bivalent cations, especially Ca, also favours the agglutination.

  • Figure 145 is a prophase showing the bivalent chromosomes still connected by linin fibers.

    Studies in Spermatogenesis

    Nettie Maria Stevens

British Dictionary definitions for bivalent


  1. chem another word for divalent
  2. (of homologous chromosomes) associated together in pairs
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  1. a structure formed during meiosis consisting of two homologous chromosomes associated together
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Derived Formsbivalency, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bivalent


1864, of chemicals, 1899, of chromosomes, from bi- + -valent, from Latin valentem, present participle of valere "be worth" (see valiant).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bivalent in Medicine


  1. Having a valence of 2; divalent.
  2. Consisting of a pair of homologous, synapsed chromosomes, as occurs during meiosis; double.
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  1. A pair of homologous, synapsed chromosomes associated together during meiosis.
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Related formsbi•valence null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

bivalent in Science


  1. Chemistry Having a valence of 2.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.