valence

The valence of an atom is the ability of that atom, expressed in numbers, to combine or interact with another atom, depending on the number of electrons available for bonding in the atom’s outer shell, called the valence shell.

The Latin valentia, "strength," is the basis for the word valence. It's a fitting word, as the valence of an element determines its strength — an idea that was first recorded in the later 19th Century. Since the word valence carries the idea of interaction, it can also be used to describe the amount of attraction or repulsion by people, either toward each other or an event.

Definitions of valence
  1. noun
    (chemistry) a property of atoms or radicals; their combining power given in terms of the number of hydrogen atoms (or the equivalent)
    synonyms: valency
    see moresee less
    types:
    covalence, covalency
    valence characterized by the sharing of electrons in a chemical compound; the number of pairs of electrons an atom can share
    type of:
    power, powerfulness
    possession of controlling influence
  2. noun
    (biology) a relative capacity to unite or react or interact as with antigens or a biological substrate
    synonyms: valency
    see moresee less
    type of:
    power, powerfulness
    possession of controlling influence
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