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
State records list him as a corporate officer for a few months before the initial organization dissolved. Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald, 11 July 2024 In May, OpenAI dissolved its safety team after the group’s leader, OpenAI cofounder Ilya Sutskever, left the company. Kylie Robison, The Verge, 11 July 2024
Noun
Here, the space felt uncannily suited to the music’s slow dissolves and diffuse colors — the horns and clarinets were especially entrancing. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 1 July 2024 Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves; reduce heat. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for dissolve 

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 19 Jul. 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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