dis·​solve | \ di-ˈzälv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) , -ˈzȯlv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) also -ˈzäv or -ˈzȯv \
dissolved; dissolving; dissolves

Definition of dissolve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause to disperse or disappear : destroy do not dissolve and deface the laws of charity— Francis Bacon
b : to separate into component parts : disintegrate dissolved the company into smaller units
c : to bring to an end : terminate the king's power to dissolve parliament their partnership was dissolved
d law : annul dissolve an injunction the marriage was dissolved
2a chemistry : to cause to pass into solution (see solution sense 2b) dissolve sugar in water dissolve a chlorine tablet
b : melt, liquefy The heat will dissolve the chocolate.
c : to cause to be emotionally moved (see move entry 1 sense transitive 5a) She was dissolved in tears.
d : to cause to fade in or out in a dissolve (see dissolve entry 2)
3 archaic : detach, loosen
4 : to clear up : to find a solution, explanation, or answer for dissolve a problem

intransitive verb

1a : to become dissipated (see dissipate sense 1) or decomposed the mist … dissolved as it touched the valleys— Han Suyin
b : break up, disperse The temporary committee will be made to dissolve.
c : to fade away His strength had dissolved.
2a : to become fluid : melt glaciers dissolving into the sea
b chemistry : to pass into solution Salt dissolves in water.
c : to be overcome emotionally He dissolved into tears.
d : to resolve itself as if by dissolution hate dissolved into fear
e : to change by a dissolve The scene dissolves to a Victorian parlor.



Definition of dissolve (Entry 2 of 2)

: a gradual superimposing of one motion-picture or television shot upon another on a screen

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Other Words from dissolve


dissolvable \ di-​ˈzäl-​və-​bəl How to pronounce dissolve (audio) , -​ˈzȯl-​ \ adjective
dissolvent \ di-​ˈzäl-​vənt How to pronounce dissolve (audio) , -​ˈzȯl-​ \ noun or adjective
dissolver noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dissolve

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of dissolve in a Sentence

Verb Dissolve the tablet in water. Hopes for peace dissolved in renewed violence. His kind words dissolved her sadness. The treatment is used to dissolve kidney stones.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If two attempts to elect a chancellor with a majority fail, the constitution allows for the president to appoint the candidate who wins the most votes in a third vote as chancellor or to dissolve the Bundestag and hold a new national election. Geir Moulson, ajc, 20 Sep. 2021 The southeastern Pacific ‘blob’ and mega-drought have occurred since 2010, which is beyond what is expected to naturally occur — where ‘blobs’ appear and dissolve within a couple years. Priya Shukla, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 New materials are another focus – plastics that dissolve on contact with water, for example, rather than polluting the environment for years to come. David Prosser, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 Blooming can also make the cocoa powder dissolve more easily. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 In the first season, Murder House, the Harmon family move from Boston to Los Angeles (another filming location for beach and desert locales in season ten) and then immediately dissolve into actual hellscape chaos. Kelly Mcclure, Vulture, 26 Aug. 2021 Varying any one factor can make stones develop and dissolve differently. Harini Barath, Scientific American, 16 Aug. 2021 This shot also contains stabilizers like sugars, salts and an alcohol called ethanol, which helps dissolve the shot's ingredients. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 23 June 2021 This drink is the less sweet of the two, as the caramel doesn't really dissolve in the cold coffee. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 25 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Grace Colucci, whose father died of COVID-19 at a hospital after being released from a nursing home, found her immediate happiness about Cuomo’s resignation dissolve into tears. Matt Sedensky, chicagotribune.com, 12 Aug. 2021 Then there’s a lovely dissolve to a formal daguerreotype of Conan with his team, the Wabash Mashers. Ramsey Ess, Vulture, 24 June 2021 And as boundaries dissolve, the definition of a fashion model has gotten fuzzy. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 Put the coffee in a small bowl and dissolve in the boiling water. Olivia Hosken, Town & Country, 13 June 2021 This technology is also coupled with the use of (ozone), hyper dissolve oxygen, super fine filtration, ultraviolet light, and pH control. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 14 May 2021 But decades of neoliberal trade policy essentially saw industrial policy dissolve. Ganesh Sitaraman, The New Republic, 29 Apr. 2021 All 4620 pounds of this car dissolve when the engine unleashes its full 630 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 12 Apr. 2021 But would their ardor for their favorite collegiate team dissolve if the players were simply paid high salaries with little pretense of earning a degree? Richard Vedder, Forbes, 5 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dissolve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dissolve


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dissolve

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Latin dissolvere, from dis- + solvere to loosen — more at solve

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Time Traveler for dissolve

Time Traveler

The first known use of dissolve was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near dissolve



dissolved bone

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Statistics for dissolve

Last Updated

25 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for dissolve



English Language Learners Definition of dissolve

: to mix with a liquid and become part of the liquid
: to officially end (something, such as a marriage, organization, or agreement)
: to end or disappear or cause (something) to end or disappear


dis·​solve | \ di-ˈzälv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) \
dissolved; dissolving

Kids Definition of dissolve

1 : to become part of a liquid Sugar dissolves in water.
2 : to bring to an end : terminate The businessmen dissolved their partnership.
3 : to fade away as if by melting or breaking up His anger quickly dissolved.
4 : to be overcome by a strong feeling He dissolved into tears.


dis·​solve | \ diz-ˈälv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) , -ˈȯlv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) \
dissolved; dissolving

Medical Definition of dissolve

transitive verb

1 : to cause to pass into solution dissolve sugar in water
2 : to cause to melt or liquefy

intransitive verb

1 : to become fluid
2 : to pass into solution

Other Words from dissolve

dissolvable \ -​ˈäl-​və-​bəl, -​ˈȯl-​ How to pronounce dissolve (audio) \ adjective
dissolver noun

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transitive verb
dissolved; dissolving

Legal Definition of dissolve

: to bring about the dissolution of

Other Words from dissolve

dissolvable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on dissolve

Nglish: Translation of dissolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dissolve for Arabic Speakers


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