There are 2 main definitions of valence in English:

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valence 1

Syllabification: va·lence
Pronunciation: /ˈvāləns/


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 valence of 4
More example sentences
  • In covalent compounds the valence of an atom may be less obvious.
  • Addition reactions of inorganic molecules occur when an atom has more than one valence.
  • The valence of a unit is closely tied up with its dependence.
1.1 [as modifier] Relating to or denoting electrons involved in or available for chemical bond formation: molecules with unpaired valence electrons
More example sentences
  • Nonmetals with eight valence electrons are chemically unreactive.
  • The electrons in the highest energy level are called valence electrons.
  • The metalloids have an intermediate number of valence electrons.
1.2 Linguistics The number of grammatical elements with which a particular word, especially a verb, combines in a sentence.
Example sentences
  • The authors compared the responses of 20 highs with 20 lows on ratings of the valence of neutral words that were preceded by subliminal presentations of negative or neutral images.
  • The valence of specific words and expressions communicates sexual potency and the lack thereof.
  • Literature has reported valences of five and higher, but no substantiation of these has ever been shown.


Late Middle English: from late Latin valentia 'power, competence', from valere 'be well or strong'.

Words that rhyme with valence

bivalence, covalence, surveillance
Definition of valence in:
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There are 2 main definitions of valence in English:

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valence 2 Line breaks: va|lence

Entry from British & World English dictionary


Variant spelling of valance.
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