A covalent bond is a chemical bond that involves the sharing of electron pairs between atoms. The stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms when they share electrons is known as covalent bonding. For many molecules, the sharing of electrons allows each atom to attain the equivalent of a full outer shell, corresponding to a stable electronic configuration. Covalent bonding includes many kinds of interactions, including σ-bonding, π-bonding, metal-to-metal bonding, agostic interactions, and three-center two-electron bonds. The term covalent bond dates from 1939. The prefix co- means jointly, associated in action, partnered to a lesser degree, etc.