dis·solve | \di-ˈzälv, -ˈzȯlv also -ˈzäv or -ˈzȯv \

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 \-ˈzäl-və-bəl, -ˈzȯl- \ adjective
dissolvent \-ˈzäl-vənt, -ˈzȯl- \ noun or adjective
dissolver noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dissolve

Synonyms: Verb

dematerialize, disappear, evanesce, evaporate, fade, flee, fly, melt, sink, vanish

Antonyms: Verb

appear, materialize

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Examples of dissolve in a Sentence


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

The commission was dissolved by a referendum in the March primary after 84 years of conducting elections in the city of Aurora, which grew to include parts of Will, Kane, Kendall and DuPage counties. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Will County to spend $72,400 to take over Aurora precincts," 12 July 2018 This product comes from a family of enzymes that dissolves hyaluronic acid, which is what most fillers are made of. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "Getting Lip Fillers Removed: What You Need to Know," 11 July 2018 The plus, this time around, was that the 2015 FIFA corruption scandal led to reforms that dissolved the small but all-powerful Executive Committee, which selected previous World Cup hosts. Brian Straus, SI.com, "USA's Joint Bid Wins Right to Host 2026 World Cup in Overwhelming Vote," 13 June 2018 The bars include a type of sugar that dissolves quicker in the mouth, but produces a similar taste to before. Isis Almeida, Philly.com, "Popcorn to ruby bars: Chocolatiers branch out to woo millennials," 12 June 2018 The company was dissolved in 2014 for failure to renew the registration with the Secretary of State, records show. Glenn E. Rice And Judy L. Thomas, kansascity, "Weekly family dinner erupts in murder-suicide; shooter was bipolar, friends say," 12 June 2018 Each was implanted with a spring about a centimeter long, compressed inside a gelatin capsule that gradually dissolved to let loose the spring’s outward force. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Lab-created ‘miniguts’ grow larger when you load them with springs," 4 June 2018 That is a fraught process that can sometimes dissolve into disagreement and at other times produce halting progress toward a presidential meeting. Michael D. Shear, BostonGlobe.com, "US officials enter North Korea to lay groundwork for summit meeting," 27 May 2018 The Cambodia National Rescue Party, the only credible challenger to Hun Sen’s government, was legally dissolved last year. Eli Meixler / Phnom Penh, Time, "The Sale of Cambodia's Last Independent Newspaper Pushes Press Freedom Into Peril," 11 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The first half of the novella is largely composed of prose of the Romantic type—heirloom turns of phrase that at length dissolve into something else. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "Longing, Violence and Social Rank," 25 May 2018 Watch his practice two days before the big game dissolve into a snowball fight, freshmen-sophomores vs. juniors-seniors. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Alliance of American football coach Rick Neuheisel's deep connections to Tempe, Arizona," 18 May 2018 At one point, the three dissolve into laughter when the complex intricacy gets the better of them. Karen Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Ballet’s John Lam is set to soar in dances from Balanchine to Bournonville," 10 May 2018 Cook while stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and turns golden brown. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Where to pick peaches in Central Florida," 16 Apr. 2018 Stir with heatproof rubber spatula over medium-low heat until steaming and gelatin dissolves. Woman's Day, "Lemon Creams with Strawberries," 1 Feb. 2012 Cream cheese hard sauce Make about 1 cup 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick) 1/2 pound powdered sugar (1-1/2 cups) 1/4 cup rum 2 ounces cream cheese Cream butter and gradually add sugar over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolves. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "King cake leftovers? Make bread pudding, trifle and cake pops," 6 Feb. 2018 Deicer and road salt dissolve, but crushed rocks stays put, and crews must return to sweep it up. Eugene Register-guard, OregonLive.com, "ODOT adds road salt to its arsenal in Lane County," 10 Jan. 2018 Add salt and sugar and reduce heat to low, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Julia Reed, WSJ, "How to Find the Poetry in a Pork Chop," 12 Aug. 2017

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


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


see dissolve entry 1

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Statistics for dissolve

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dissolve

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

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More Definitions for dissolve



English Language Learners Definition of dissolve

of something solid : 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 \
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, -ˈȯlv \
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- \ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dissolve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dissolve

Spanish Central: Translation of dissolve

Nglish: Translation of dissolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dissolve for Arabic Speakers

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