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A covalent bond is a bond in which at least two electrons are shared between atoms. A pair of electrons may be donated from one atom to another and this is known as a dative covalent bond. A covalent bond holds atoms together as it is the attraction of the negitively charged electrons, in the shared pair of electrons, to the positively charged nucleus of both atoms. See covalent
Structure and Bonding, Jack Barrett, 2001, Chapter 3, page 35, 3.1- Ionic, Covalent and Coordinate (or Dative) Bonding.