from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An ornamental drapery hung across a top edge, as of a bed, table, or canopy.
  • n. A short drapery, decorative board, or metal strip mounted especially across the top of a window to conceal structural fixtures.
  • transitive v. To supply with valances or a valance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Short curtain that hangs along the top edge of a window.
  • n. A decorative framework used to conceal the curtain mechanism and so on at the top of a window.
  • n. A short, decorative edging of cloth that hangs from the mattress to the floor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Hanging drapery for a bed, couch, window, or the like, especially that which hangs around a bedstead, from the bed to the floor.
  • n. The drooping edging of the lid of a trunk, which covers the joint when the lid is closed.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a valance; to decorate with hangings or drapery.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish or decorate with a valance: figuratively used in the quotation for ‘to decorate with a beard.’
  • n. A kind of damask used for furniture-coverings, made of silk, or silk and wool. Also valentia, Valencia.
  • n. A short curtain used upon a bedstead, or in some similar way, either around the frame upon which the mattress rests (a base-valance), or around the head of the canopy (a tester-valance).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a decorative framework to conceal curtain fixtures at the top of a window casing


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English.


  • The 6-inch ruffle on Lillibeth's dress, was a cotton eyelet curtain valance we had kept in a drawer with laces because we had no use for it but thought it might be useful for some stitchery item some day.

    Living Beautifully With the New Frugality

  • Morningside Analytics 'John Kelly, details Sanchez, has developed 3D modelings that shine light on everything from "term valance" -- that is, the semantics employed by different clusters of online conversations to talk about everything from "home schooling" to "preemptive war" -- to topics that bookmarking reveals to be of deep interest in some sectors but spark little visible online feedback.

    Daily Digest: On Blogosphere Imaging, SEC's XBRL, and "White-Collar Populism"

  • Eat Pray Love valance and ponder the oft-asked question: Where does the word valance come from?

    Fast Company

  • [2.2] A valance is a short piece of drapery that extends across the window to conceal the support rods.

    Inventory of Robert Carter's Estate, November [1733]

  • The drapery which thus hangs down is dignified by the name of a "valance," and though originally intended for the purpose of embellishment and ornamentation, it is better that decorative art should be more limited in its application, so as not to interfere with the free circulation of air throughout the room.

    The Art of Living in Australia ; together with three hundred Australian cookery recipes and accessory kitchen information by Mrs. H. Wicken

  • The valance is the fringes or drapery hanging round the tester of a bed.] [Footnote II. 55: _Com'st thou to beard me_] To _beard_ anciently meant to set _at defiance_.


  • The reasons for this sloppiness in rear-end design is attributable to a number of factors including cost cutting installing a valance as a cover-up would cost more.

    Exposed Car Underbellies

  • Mirror in the Style of Serge Roche, estimate $500-$800 There are some very personal things, like a trompe l'oeil painted curtain valance.

    Albert Hadley's Spring Cleaning

  • The valance of the large picture window matched the blue and white pattern on the bed.

    I’ll Walk Alone

  • The Car of Tomorrow also replaced the rear spoiler (on the body) with a rear wing (above the body) and replaced the front valance (aluminum curtain under the front bumper) with a front splitter.

    Dawn Teo: NASCAR Car of Yesterday: Emblematic of the Detroit Problem


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