the number of electron pairs that an atom can share with other atoms.
Origin of covalence
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for covalent
"The covalent bonds… are so strong that you can't break them down by heat," explained Dufresne.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Of or relating to a chemical bond characterized by one or more pairs of shared electrons.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.