Definition of valance in English:


(British valence)


  • 1A length of decorative drapery attached to the canopy or frame of a bed in order to screen the structure or the space beneath it.

    • ‘One of the rooms incorporates a four-poster with an embroidered valance, while another houses a lovely old polished roll-end bed like a sledge of dreams.’
    • ‘The Gripsholm bed is squarer and lower than the Knole bed (it may have been cut down), with a more conventional canopy and valances.’
    • ‘So while many people fret over every detail in the master bedroom - from the rug's knot count to the percentage of satin in the valences - they close and lock the door on beautifying the bathroom.’
    • ‘It was more-or-less the same as when I was a child only she had taken down the horrific black valance from her bed and had replaced them with soft white cotton ones that had intricate roses woven into them.’
    • ‘Included in the show are table covers, needlework patterns, needle worked fire screens, valances for mantels and beds, needlework upholstery, and sewing tools.’
    1. 1.1 A sheet with a deep pleated or gathered border that is designed to hang down over the mattress and sides of a bed.
      • ‘We make our own sofas, mattresses, windows, treatments, curtains, bedspreads, and valances.’
      • ‘Specialising in soft furnishing, the Milano design team has come up with coordinated sets for the bedroom, including duvet covers, embellished bed linen, pillowcases, sheets, throws, quilts and bed valances.’
      • ‘Top the shade with your favorite valance if desired.’
      • ‘I watched as Brian lifted up the valance that hung down over the side of the bed, to reveal a snoozing father, empty beer can in hand - and for some reason missing his shoes.’
      • ‘The room was so delicate and pretty, especially with the rosebud printed valances.’
      • ‘And both rooms were finished with new roman shades and linen valances.’
      edge, edging, border, trim, trimming
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American A length of decorative drapery hung above a window to screen the curtain fittings.
      • ‘The view from the dining room windows is accentuated by the valance over the window, and the mirrored wall contributes to the formality as well.’
      • ‘The padded valances and floor-length curtains concealed the architectural beauty of the windows.’
      • ‘Use a valance to soften a horizontal or vertical blind.’
      • ‘Draperies combined with window shades, valances and ornamentation such as trims can produce an exceptionally well-dressed window.’
      • ‘Curtains or valances, appliance covers, and table runners all can be easily stitched at home.’
    3. 1.3 A protective panel screening the wheels of a vehicle.
      • ‘The lower part of the rear body has been subtly widened to disguise the track increase and four low restriction exhaust outlets are visible below the rear valence.’
      • ‘A roll bar has replaced the rear seats, the body is adorned with one of their body kits including valences, spoilers and mesh grilles as appropriate.’
      • ‘Track position is magnified at this place because we've got the valances on the ground, we've got the spoilers way up in the air.’
      • ‘As part of your Dodge body kit ensemble, the rear valance is an add-on piece that fully covers your existing bumper.’
      • ‘From September onwards, BMW's 3 - Series gets a new kidney grille, new headlights, new lower front and rear valances, two new engines and a range of chassis and specification enhancements.’


Late Middle English: perhaps Anglo-Norman French, from a shortened form of Old French avaler ‘descend’ (see vail).