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Valve [valv], noun, verb, valved, valvāˆ™ing; any device for halting or controlling the flow of a liquid, gas, or other material through a passage, pipe, inlet, outlet, etc… [dictionary.com]

"A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid (gases, liquids, fluidized solids, or slurries) by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways. Valves are technically pipe fittings, but are usually discussed as a separate category. In an open valve, fluid flows in a direction from higher pressure to lower pressure." [wikipedia.org, October 5, 2011]

Valve; a lid, plug, or cover, applied to an aperture so that by its movement, as by swinging, lifting and falling, sliding, turning, or the like, it will open or close the aperture to permit or prevent passage, as of a fluid.  [Webster’s 1913 Dictionary]