dissolve

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: to cause to disperse or disappear : destroy
do not dissolve and deface the laws of charityFrancis 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
2
a
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

1
a
: to become dissipated (see dissipate sense 1) or decomposed
the mist … dissolved as it touched the valleysHan Suyin
b
: break up, disperse
The temporary committee will be made to dissolve.
c
: to fade away
His strength had dissolved.
2
a
: 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.
dissolvable adjective
dissolvent noun or adjective
dissolver noun

dissolve

2 of 2

noun

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

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
Identity Evropa dissolved in 2019; its leadership splintered to other white nationalist groups. Brandy Zadrozny, NBC News, 3 Apr. 2024 Soluble fibers, such as glucomannan, dissolve in water and turn into a gel-like substance in your gut. Weight Loss Advisors, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 Redshirt freshman Ice Brady was the only player to come off the bench in UConn’s regional semifinal game against Duke in which the Huskies let a 20-point third-quarter lead dissolve to five late in the fourth quarter of a 53-45 win. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2024 The company, largely in deficit, had to be dissolved after the exhibit. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 For more than five years, Little has performed this kind of alchemy, purchasing handguns and automatic rifles from pawn shops and dissolving the iron-heavy parts in acid to form iron sulfate, the basis for writing inks and artists’ pigments in deep blacks, rusty reds and warm ochres. Jacqui Palumbo, CNN, 28 Mar. 2024 The settlement resolves lawsuits over a last-minute agreement Disney signed with its old board last year before it was dissolved by DeSantis and the Florida Legislature. Greg Allen, NPR, 28 Mar. 2024 These approaches involve the use of inks containing organic and inorganic salts that are dissolved in a solvent. IEEE Spectrum, 26 Mar. 2024 Across the court, among the Oakland fans, Lisa Gohlke was dissolving into a puddle of tears. Billy Witz, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2024
Noun
Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 7 Feb. 2024 Mix until the powder dissolves, and enjoy a restful sleep. Christianna Silva, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Jan. 2024 Moisten a sponge with a diluted solution, rub until the sap dissolves, then thoroughly rinse until the water runs clear, a customer-service representative said. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2024 As humanity pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, more of that gas dissolves in the ocean, which increases the acidity of the water. WIRED, 8 Nov. 2023 Those dissolves often seem to gloss over a not inconsiderable measure of intense suffering: backbreaking manual labor, beatings, possible torture. Justin Chang, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2024 Given its two-game lead, Stanford is in solid position to win its 27th conference title before the Pac-12 dissolves as currently constructed. Jeff Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 21 Feb. 2024 Drifting on the open seas, where the horizon between sky and ocean dissolves, the confines of everyday life fade away, revealing an extraordinary realm of inspiration and possibilities. John Hall, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Stir the egg white mixture constantly until sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes glossy and opaque. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dissolve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1916, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near dissolve

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

dissolve

verb
dis·​solve
diz-ˈälv,
-ˈȯlv
dissolved; dissolving
1
: to mix or cause to mix with a liquid so that the result is a liquid that is the same throughout
sugar dissolves in water
2
: to bring to an end
dissolved their partnership
3
: to fade away as if by breaking up or melting
his courage dissolved in the face of danger
4
: to be overcome by a strong feeling
dissolved into tears
5
: to appear or fade out gradually so that one scene is replaced by another (as in movies or television)
dissolver noun

Medical Definition

dissolve

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

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
dissolvable adjective
dissolver noun

Legal Definition

dissolve

transitive verb
dis·​solve
dissolved; dissolving
: to bring about the dissolution of
dissolvable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on dissolve

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