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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Step 1Process garlic, chiles, lime juice, sugar and fish sauce in a food processor until garlic and chiles are coarsely chopped and sugar begins to dissolve, about 30 seconds. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 31 July 2022 While the next steps were unclear, Mr. Mattarella seemed likely to dissolve Parliament after a period of consultations, paving the way for an election as soon as late September or early October. Nicole Winfield, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 July 2022 While the next steps were unclear, the outcome suggested Mattarella could dissolve Parliament after a period of consultations, paving the way for an early election as soon as late September or early October. Nicole Winfleld, USA TODAY, 21 July 2022 Israeli lawmakers voted Thursday to dissolve the parliament, known as the Knesset, and set Nov. 1 as the date for the next election. Dov Lieber, WSJ, 30 June 2022 Lapid’s visit comes amid political turmoil in Israel, where Bennett’s fragile, year-old government decided this week to dissolve parliament, triggering new elections which are set to take place in the fall. Suzan Fraser, ajc, 23 June 2022 After the vote, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the members of the Annual Conference offered prayer for the departing churches, some of which will remain independent and others of which will dissolve. Jon Brown, Fox News, 5 June 2022 Their hair is abstracted into bird-like figures that swarm the frame, then dissolve, replaced by angels on the throne. Naib Mian, The New Yorker, 1 June 2022 Wait until your water is at a rolling boil so your salt will dissolve quickly, rather than adding it in the beginning. Robin Miller, The Arizona Republic, 15 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Shimmering walls of color dissolve and flow into other shapes and images all around the viewer. CBS News, 8 July 2022 Acting as a mind enhancer, the book is a dive into the deepest part of ourselves, where contradictions dissolve and polarities merge. Rica Cerbarano, Vogue, 22 June 2022 Clean & Clear's face scrub formulation is specifically made to target blackheads and dissolve impurities with 2% salicylic acid. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, 6 June 2022 Pomegranate enzymes and sunflower seed oil dissolve any buildup. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 May 2022 Here, five thoughtful pieces start as fragments and accumulate into concrete forms, only to change shape or dissolve, much like clouds against a blue sky over time. Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, 17 May 2022 Set the saucepan over low heat and continue to stir gently until the sugars dissolve (avoid sloshing the sides of the pan). Tribune News Service, cleveland, 12 Apr. 2022 Now, as glaciers dissolve and sea levels rise, the poles may, in effect, journey to us, swamping our shores. Jody Rosen, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 The chocolate de metate dessert is inspired by the round Ibarra-brand chocolate powder tablets that Mexicans have dissolve in milk or water to make hot cocoa for generations. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About dissolve

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

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dissolve


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


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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