1 containing several antibodies each capable of counteracting a specific antigen; "a polyvalent vaccine" [ant: monovalent]
2 having more than one valence, or having a valence of 3 or higher [syn: multivalent] [ant: monovalent]
Polyvalent is a synonym for multivalent and denotes something which has many values, meanings or appeals. The metaphoric origin of ~valent is derived from valency in chemistry and by metaphoric attribution, may now connote a "subtle, polyvalent allegory". In chemistry the terms polyvalent or multivalent can be used to refer to species which are not univalent or monovalent. For example, the Cs+ cation is a univalent or monovalent cation, whereas the Ca++ cation is a divalent or polyvalent or multivalent cation and the Fe+++ cation is a trivalent or polyvalent or multivalent cation. As a result, examples of polyvalent cations include the Ca++ cation and the Fe+++ cation.