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Definition of "valence" []

  • Chemistry The combining capacity of an atom or radical determined by the number of electrons that it will lose, add, or share when it reacts with other atoms. (noun)
  • Chemistry A positive or negative integer used to represent this capacity: The valences of copper are 1 and 2. (noun)
  • The number of binding sites of a molecule, such as an antibody or antigen. (noun)
  • The ability of a substance to interact with another or to produce an effect. (noun)
  • Psychology The degree of attraction or aversion that an individual feels toward a specific object or event. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "valence" in a sentence
  • "In a specific context of a jurisdiction where you have high levels of funding and relatively strong unions, the main valence of union power is going to be to shift education policies at the margin in the interests of the teachers rather than in the public interest."
  • "Mulliken has been deeply interested in valence theory and molecular structure."
  • "Future research could address this issue by using the same stimuli in a word valence task and a prosody memory task but separating them by several days."