verb (used with object), valved, valv·ing.

to provide with a means of controlling the flow of liquid, gas, etc., by inserting a valve.

Origin of valve

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin valvae leaves of a door
Related formsvalve·less, adjectivevalve·like, adjectiveun·der·valve, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for valve

pipe, faucet, spigot, lid, plug, stopper, tap, hydrant, gate, cock, flap, shutoff

Examples from the Web for valve

Contemporary Examples of valve

Historical Examples of valve

British Dictionary definitions for valve



any device that shuts off, starts, regulates, or controls the flow of a fluid
anatomy a flaplike structure in a hollow organ, such as the heart, that controls the one-way passage of fluid through that organ
Also called: tube, vacuum tube an evacuated electron tube containing a cathode, anode, and, usually, one or more additional control electrodes. When a positive potential is applied to the anode, electrons emitted from the cathode are attracted to the anode, constituting a flow of current which can be controlled by a voltage applied to the grid to produce amplification, oscillation, etcSee also diode (def. 2), triode (def. 1), tetrode, pentode
zoology any of the separable pieces that make up the shell of a mollusc
music a device on some brass instruments by which the effective length of the tube may be varied to enable a chromatic scale to be produced
  1. any of the several parts that make up a dry dehiscent fruit, esp a capsule
  2. either of the two halves of a diatom cell wall
archaic a leaf of a double door or of a folding door
Derived Formsvalveless, adjectivevalvelike, adjective

Word Origin for valve

C14: from Latin valva a folding door
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 valve

late 14c., "one of the halves of a folding door," from Latin valva "section of a folding or revolving door," literally "that which turns," related to volvere "to roll" (see volvox). Sense extended 1610s to "membranous fold regulating flow of bodily fluids;" 1650s to "mechanical device that works like a valve;" and 1660s in zoology to "halves of a hinged shell."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

valve in Medicine




A membranous structure in a hollow organ or passage, as in an artery or vein, that folds or closes to prevent the return flow of the body fluid passing through it.
Any of various devices that regulate the flow of gases, liquids, or loose materials through piping or through apertures by opening, closing, or obstructing ports or passageways.
The movable control element of such a device.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

valve in Science



  1. Any of various mechanical devices that control the flow of liquids, gases, or loose material through pipes or channels by blocking and uncovering openings.
  2. The movable part or element of such a device.
Any of various structures that prevent the backward flow of a body fluid, such as blood or lymph. Valves in the heart, veins, and lymphatic vessels contain flaps (known as cusps) that close in response to pressure created by the backflow of fluid.
One of the paired hinged shells of certain mollusks, such as clams and oysters.
See electron tube.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.