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 The closer a pill lands to the antrum, the last part of the stomach before the intestine, the faster the pill begins to dissolve and find its way through the pylorus into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Sep. 2022 Bipartisan support is emerging at the federal level for limiting non-compete agreements to cases when they are required to dissolve a partnership or sell a business. CNN, 14 Sep. 2022 Graham said that his team could not confidently predict whether or when the glacial structure might completely dissolve but that reducing planet-warming emissions in the next 75 years will be crucial for its survival. Karina Tsui, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Sep. 2022 Graham said that his team could not confidently predict whether or when the glacial structure might completely dissolve, but that reducing planet-warming emissions in the next 75 years will be crucial for its survival. Karina Tsui, Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2022 The Attorney General’s office, which sued JPC in April as part of a coordinated legal strategy with the city and Citizens Energy Group, sought to dissolve JPC and ban its officers from serving on nonprofit boards in the state. The Indianapolis Star, 1 Sep. 2022 This intense exfoliating mask uses acids to dissolve any dead skin cells and reveal softer, brighter, baby-smooth skin (hence the name). Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, 31 Aug. 2022 These cleaners have ingredients to dissolve dirt and grime without damaging the coating or dulling the shine. Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 31 Aug. 2022 Both camps disagree over the appropriate mechanism to dissolve parliament and hold early elections, key demands of al-Sadr. Samya Kullab, ajc, 31 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ajavon has seen many would-be trips dissolve because no one wanted to take the lead. Helen Carefoot, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 If the caramel forms hard clumps around the citrus slices, return the skillet to heat over medium-low and continue to cook, swirling the caramel around the citrus pieces, until any hard clumps dissolve, 2 minutes. San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Sep. 2022 The hard boundaries dissolve and the trio fall into an endearing routine — eating dinner together at the tiny dining room table, dusting off old photo albums and sharing stories about the past. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Sep. 2022 Bought my last jug of laundry detergent in June 2021; from now on, it’s sheets (or strips) of laundry detergent that dissolve in the wash. Brad Wieners And Lisa Jhung, Men's Health, 11 July 2022 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 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

25 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 3 Oct. 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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