Science Dictionary
valve   (vālv)  Pronunciation Key 
    1. Any of various mechanical devices that control the flow of liquids, gases, or loose material through pipes or channels by blocking and uncovering openings.

    2. The movable part or element of such a device.

  1. Any of various structures that prevent the backward flow of a body fluid, such as blood or lymph. Valves in the heart, veins, and lymphatic vessels contain flaps (known as cusps) that close in response to pressure created by the backflow of fluid.

  2. One of the paired hinged shells of certain mollusks, such as clams and oysters.

  3. See electron tube.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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