A vacant or only partially occupied set of many closely spaced electronic levels resulting from an array of a large number of atoms forming a system in which the electrons can move freely or nearly so. This term is usually used to describe the properties of metals and semiconductors.
PAC, 1996, 68, 2223
(Glossary of terms used in photochemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1996))
on page 2233
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook