Definition of valency in English:


Line breaks: va|lency
Pronunciation: /ˈveɪl(ə)nsi/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun (plural valencies)

Chemistry , chiefly British
  • 1The combining power of an element, especially as measured by the number of hydrogen atoms it can displace or combine with: carbon always has a valency of 4 Compare with valence1.
  • 1.1 Linguistics The number of grammatical elements with which a particular word, especially a verb, combines in a sentence: ‘give’ has a valency of three in ‘I (1) gave it (2) to him (3)’


early 17th century: from late Latin valentia 'power, competence', from valere 'be well or strong'.

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