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 The egg yolks contain lecithin molecules that repel water on one side and dissolve water on the other. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Turtles Caught in Disastrous Oil Spill Treated With Mayonnaise," 25 Feb. 2021 Patchology sells three types of supplement strips that dissolve on your tongue, each of which are made with ingredients designed to boost either Energy, Sleep or Calm. NBC News, "41 best products of the past year, according to 40,000 Americans," 18 Feb. 2021 Return to a simmer over high heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Star Tribune, "Recipes: Rum-Spiked Chai, Johnny Weir Mint Mocha, Mulled Bloody Mary, Bourbon-Spiked Cider," 13 Jan. 2021 The Israeli parliament, called the Knesset, voted 61-54 in favor of a preliminary proposal to dissolve the government on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Israeli government moves closer to dissolving and paving way for new election," 2 Dec. 2020 As Wildlife in Need owner Tim Stark was on the run from law enforcement last month, his nonprofit's board of directors voted unanimously to dissolve the corporation. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Wildlife in Need board of directors unanimously votes to dissolve the nonprofit," 5 Nov. 2020 The board of directors of The Bloom Project, founded 13 years ago, voted to dissolve the organization, according to a news release. oregonlive, "The Bloom Project, a nonprofit that gave bouquets to hospice patients, calls it quits because of coronavirus pandemic," 21 Oct. 2020 Stir to dissolve the sugar and let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Sheryl Julian, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Scallion oil noodles is one of Shanghai’s most popular dishes, ideal for the Lunar New Year," 9 Feb. 2021 One way to get rid of classics would be to dissolve its faculties and reassign their members to history, archaeology and language departments. New York Times, "He Wants to Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive?," 2 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the barriers between private, personal, and working life dissolve or blur, that question is sometimes hard to answer. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The Perpetual Disappointment of Remote Work," 4 Jan. 2021 And would Harden’s ball-centric approach dissolve Bam Adebayo’s uniqueness as a facilitator? Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Could James Harden’s whirlwind end in Miami?," 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, "Mel Tucker to Michigan State football players: Give effort or get out," 18 Nov. 2020 Tagovailoa saw his chances of being the top pick dissolve after sustaining a severe hip injury in Nov. 2019. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa may be the underdog, but he’s excited to face Cardinals’ Kyler Murray again," 6 Nov. 2020 With a quick cut or slow dissolve to a new scene, a movie could create the illusion of more time passing than actually elapses on screen. Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, "Night Terrors," 3 Nov. 2020 Despite cutting its unemployment numbers in half, OOEA analyst Josh Lehner warned that Oregon could see its job gains dissolve if consumer spending fizzles in the coming months, especially from among workers themselves. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, "Oregon state revenue looking up as financial fallout from wildfires weighs on job market," 24 Sep. 2020 Truths dissolve, family lore unravels, the family itself disintegrates, and Giovanna’s parents turn into people before her very eyes. Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘The Lying Life of Adults’ Review: Elena Ferrante’s Latest," 4 Sep. 2020 The black-and-white clip features a number of miscellaneous close-up faces singing the song's lyrics, with dissolve and wipe effects transitioning between them as a sort of proto-morphing. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, "From A-ha to Johnny Cash, The 15 Greatest Artists With One Classic Video," 28 Aug. 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

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 6 Mar. 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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