[val-uhns, vey-luhns]
a short curtain or piece of drapery that is hung from the edge of a canopy, from the frame of a bed, etc.
a short ornamental piece of drapery placed across the top of a window.

1400–50; late Middle English; perhaps after Valence, French city noted for cloth-making

valanced, adjective

valance, valence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
valance (ˈvæləns)
a short piece of drapery hung along a shelf, canopy, or bed, or across a window, to hide structural detail
[C15: perhaps named after Valence, France, town noted for its textiles]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

piece of drapery, 1463, from Anglo-Fr. *valance, from valer "go down," variant of O.Fr. avaler; or possibly from the pl. of O.Fr. avalant, from prp. of avaler "go down." The notion is of something "hanging down."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
While the ordinary-language usage has a pejorative valance, it is an adaptive function.
Evidence has been mounting in the past few years that xenon, as well as other members of zero valance elements, do form compounds.
The catalyzed cementation chemistry centers around the use of zero valance iron.
Awnings shall have a loose valance, and should generally be located to fit within window or door recesses.
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