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 Alcohol is a solvent and can dissolve the internal adhesives. Joel Johnson, Popular Mechanics, 5 May 2021 The immersive experience begins with a map of Australia featuring star patterns used by the country’s First Nations people, the world’s oldest continuous living culture, as watercolor drawings dissolve from one scene to the next. Lily Katzman, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Feb. 2020 Carefully pour the hot water into the dry mixture, stirring with increasing vigor as to dissolve any lumps. Lindsey E. Murphy, Scientific American, 6 Oct. 2011 Musical melding can also dissolve the distance between subgenres and redefine performers’ limits—real or assumed—in enlightening ways. Barry Mazor, WSJ, 15 May 2021 Gasoline can dissolve certain kinds of plastic, leading to further spillage. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 The hero cannot really win, or the stakes will dissolve. Kate Knibbs, Wired, 4 May 2021 Providing customers’ information to third parties could dissolve the foundation of trust banking is built on. Tarun Bhasin, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 Made from the konjac plant, a yam-like tuber from East and Southeast Asia, these jellies do not dissolve in your mouth and require extensive chewing, a fun addition to the regular boba topping. oregonlive, 13 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Some of the Wild's most consistent pressure came early in the third; Fiala had a breakaway look dissolve after Alex Tuch caught up, and a Nick Bonino shot hit Fleury. Sarah Mclellan, Star Tribune, 3 Apr. 2021 As the barriers between private, personal, and working life dissolve or blur, that question is sometimes hard to answer. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, 4 Jan. 2021 And would Harden’s ball-centric approach dissolve Bam Adebayo’s uniqueness as a facilitator? Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, 8 Dec. 2020 The performances in the two weeks since, however, have grown more frustrating because Tucker and his staff have watched all that good dissolve into penalties and turnovers and mistakes in all three phases. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 18 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for dissolve

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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
formal : to officially end (something, such as a marriage, organization, or agreement)
somewhat formal : 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


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