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 dissolvable (audio) , -​ˈzȯl-​ \ adjective
dissolvent \ di-​ˈzäl-​vənt How to pronounce dissolvent (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 Merkaz President Andy Schwartz announced on May 20 that the board subsequently voted to dissolve the synagogue at the end of the fiscal year. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "'There is a sadness, but there's also a joy': Phoenix synagogue disbanding after 12 years," 28 June 2020 Maybe something that can dissolve plastic repels you more than the mosquitoes. Jordan Nutting, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Heading outside this summer? Here's what you need to know about bug repellents," 27 June 2020 Steam temperatures must be above 200 degrees Fahrenheit to dissolve the fatty envelope, Smith said. Carmel Kookogey, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Citrus steam cannot kill viruses such as the coronavirus," 26 June 2020 Pour 1 cup of water and ⅓ cup of vinegar into a small pot with a couple tablespoons of sugar and heat to dissolve the sugar. Marshall Bright, CNN Underscored, "7 ways to make the most of a CSA farm share box," 24 June 2020 The Georgia House backed an effort Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department following its handling of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. Mark Niesse, ajc, "Georgia House passes bill that could abolish police department after Arbery shooting," 19 June 2020 Within a decade, it was widely thought to be more convenient to dissolve the empire than to articulate a strategy for incorporating foreigners within it. Douglas Boin, Time, "Ancient Rome Thrived When the Empire Welcomed Immigrants. We Should Remember What Happened When That Changed," 9 June 2020 Close readings bleed into autobiographical memories, which dissolve into historical context. The New Yorker, "What We’re Reading This Summer," 7 June 2020 Make brine: Combine salt and water in a large bowl and stir to dissolve. Kathleen Squires, WSJ, "Recipe: Poached Monkfish With Garlic Soup," 14 Apr. 2016 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some want to strip all police funding and dissolve departments. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "There's a growing call to defund the police. Here's what it means," 6 June 2020 Stick to standard cuts and the occasional dissolve or fade to express passing of time. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "How to make a 'viral’ video: Coronavirus stinks, but some day you’ll want to remember life under lockdown," 9 Apr. 2020 My impression throughout was that Crain wants to let subject matter dissolve into Jamesian form but knows that the audience for art is well diminished. Jason Farago, The New York Review of Books, "Resistance Is Futile," 8 Apr. 2020 The water needs to be hot or boiling to help the coffee and sugar dissolve. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Dalgona Coffee Recipe: How to Make the Internet’s Favorite, Fluffiest Quarantine Drink," 3 Apr. 2020 Stir everything together until the salt and sugar dissolve. oregonlive, "Thanksgiving turkey: How much to buy, how long to thaw, how to roast," 15 Nov. 2019 Heat on medium until sugar dissolves, stirring. Arrange cucumber spears and dill in 1 (32-oz.) jar; pour warm brine over cucumbers to cover. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Classic Dill Pickles," 29 Aug. 2019 Microwave until mixture is bubbling around edges and gelatin dissolves, 15 to 30 seconds. Washington Post, "This chocolate éclair cake is an instant dessert classic," 1 July 2019 This episode had some great visual moments, like the dissolve of Discovery warping into Stamets' mind gadget. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Season Two Wants You to Forget About Season One," 18 Jan. 2019

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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dissolve


How to pronounce dissolve (audio) How to pronounce dissolve (audio)

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 dissolvable (audio) \ adjective
dissolver noun

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dissolved; dissolving

Legal Definition of dissolve

: to bring about the dissolution of

Other Words from dissolve

dissolvable adjective

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