Valence is the ability of elements or atoms to combine to form molecules.
An example of valence is when two atoms of hydrogen combine with one atom of oxygen to form a molecule of water.
- the capacity of an element or radical to combine with another to form molecules, as measured by the number of hydrogen or chlorine atoms which one radical or one atom of the element will combine with or replace (e.g.: oxygen has a valence of two, i.e., one atom of oxygen combines with two hydrogen atoms to form the water molecule, HO)
- any of the units of valence which a particular element may have
Origin of valenceLate Latin valentia, worth, capacity from L, vigor from valens, present participle of valere, to be strong: see value
city in SE France
nounpl. val·lenc·es, also val·len·cies
- Chemistry a. The combining capacity of an atom or group of atoms as determined by the number of electrons it can lose, add, or share when it reacts with other atoms or groups. Also called oxidation state .b. An integer used to represent this capacity, which may be given as positive or negative depending on whether electrons are lost or gained, respectively: The valences of copper are +1 and +2.
- The number of binding sites of a molecule, such as an antibody or antigen.
- The number of different antigens contained in a vaccine, corresponding to the number of pathogens that it is active against.
- Psychology The degree of attraction or aversion that an individual feels toward a specific object or event.
- Linguistics The number and type of arguments that a lexical item, especially a verb, can combine with to make a syntactically well-formed sentence, often along with a description of the categories of those constituents. Intransitive verbs ( appear, arrive ) have a valence of one—the subject; some transitive verbs ( paint, touch ), two—the subject and direct object; other transitive verbs ( ask, give ), three—the subject, direct object, and indirect object.
- The capacity of something to unite, react, or interact with something else: “I do not claim to know much more about novels than the writing of them, but I cannot imagine one set in the breathing world which lacks any moral valence” ( Robert Stone )
Origin of valenceLatin valentia capacity from valēns valent- present participle of valēre to be strong ; see wal- in Indo-European roots.
A city of southeast France on the Rhone River south of Lyon. Settled in Roman times, it was captured by the Visigoths in AD 413 and the Arabs c. 730.x
- (chemistry) The combining capacity of an atom, radical or functional group determined by the number of electrons that it will lose, gain, or share when it combines with other atoms etc
- (chemistry) The number of binding sites of a molecule, such as an antibody or antigen
- (linguistics) The number of arguments that a verb can have, including the subject of the verb in the counting, ranging from zero (for the likes of "It rains") to three (for the likes of "He gives her a flower").
- (psychology) A one-dimensional value assigned to an object, situation, or state, that can usually be positive or negative
- (sociology) value
- Alternative spelling of valance.