Definition of bivalent in English:

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Pronunciation: /bīˈvālənt/


1 Biology (Of homologous chromosomes) associated in pairs.
Example sentences
  • If chromosomes 1 and 2 are genetically more identical, as are chromosomes 3 and 4, there are three different combinations for the bivalent chromosome pairing.
  • Note that the bivalent sex chromosome remaining in the vicinity of the equator appears to be oriented to the poles.
  • Because only homologous chromosomes pair, allopolyploids strictly exhibit bivalent formation (two chromosomes pair) at meiosis and undergo disomic inheritance for each locus.
2 Chemistry another term for divalent.
Example sentences
  • The surface of BR is bound with bivalent metal cations, charge amino acids and polar phospholipids to form an asymmetrical distribution of charges on the membrane surface.
  • The bivalent cations were slightly increased as well as chloride and phosphate.
  • It causes the cell wall to become rigid by blocking free carboxyl groups that interact with bivalent ions like Ca 2 +.


A pair of homologous chromosomes.
Example sentences
  • However, no investigation has been made into whether homologous chromosome pairs or bivalents with altered patterns of recombination events may also be at increased risk for nondisjunction in mammals other than humans.
  • On average, each double-crossover bivalent produces one double-crossover chromosome (of four) in the absence of chromatid interference.
  • True non-disjunction as a mechanism causing aneuploidy was separately assessed when a bivalent was found in a set of metaphase II chromosomes.


Mid 19th century: from bi- 'two' + Latin valent- 'being strong' (from the verb valere).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bi·va·lent

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