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valence

Pronunciation: va'lens, -len-se

Definition: The combining power of one atom of an element (or a radical), that of the hydrogen atom being the unit of comparison, determined by the number of electrons in the outer shell of the atom (v. electrons); in HCl, chlorine is monovalent; in H2O, oxygen is bivalent; in NH3, nitrogen is trivalent.

[L. valentia, strength]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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