valence

[ vey-luhns ]
/ ˈveɪ ləns /

noun

Also va·len·cy [vey-luhn-see] /ˈveɪ lən si/ .Chemistry.
  1. the quality that determines the number of atoms or groups with which any single atom or group will unite chemically.
  2. the relative combining capacity of an atom or group compared with that of the standard hydrogen atom. The chloride ion, Cl–, with a valence of one, has the capacity to unite with one atom of hydrogen or its equivalent, as in HCl or NaCl.
Immunology. the number of determinants per molecule of antigen.
the capacity of one person or thing to react with or affect another in some special way, as by attraction or the facilitation of a function or activity.

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Origin of valence

First recorded in 1865–70; from Latin valentia “strength, worth,” equivalent to present participle valent- (stem of valēns ) “to be strong” + -ia noun suffix; see -ence

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH valence

valance, valence .

Definition for valence (2 of 2)

Valence
[ va-lahns ]
/ vaˈlɑ̃s /

noun

a city in and the capital of Drôme, in SE France.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for valence

British Dictionary definitions for valence (1 of 2)

valence
/ (ˈveɪləns) /

noun chem

another name (esp US and Canadian) for valency
the phenomenon of forming chemical bonds

British Dictionary definitions for valence (2 of 2)

Valence
/ (French valɑ̃s) /

noun

a town in SE France, on the River Rhône. Pop: 64 260 (1999)
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

Medical definitions for valence

valence
[ vāləns ]

n.

The combining capacity of an atom or radical that is determined by the number of electrons that it will lose, add, or share when it reacts with other atoms.
A positive or negative integer used to represent this capacity.
The number of components of an antigen molecule to which an antibody molecule can bind.
The attraction or aversion that an individual feels toward a specific object or event.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for valence

valence
[ vāləns ]

A whole number that represents the ability of an atom or a group of atoms to combine with other atoms or groups of atoms. The valence is determined by the number of electrons that an atom can lose, add, or share. An atom's valence is positive if its own electrons are used in forming the bond, or negative if another atom's electrons are used. For example, a carbon atom can share four of its electrons with other atoms and therefore has a valence of +4. A sodium atom can receive an electron from another atom and therefore has a valence of -1. (In this book the distinction between positive and negative valences is ignored unless it is relevant.) The valence of an atom generally indicates how many chemical bonds it is capable of forming with other atoms. Also called valence number oxidation state
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for valence

valence
[ (vay-luhns) ]

A number characterizing an atom, equal to the number of valence electrons.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.