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 Walking through them, the broader backdrop of the Mall seems to dissolve into the sound of a trickling waterway, the monuments fade beneath the shadows of 33,000 plant species. Washington Post, "You have until Nov. 22 to visit these six Smithsonian museums. Here’s what to expect.," 19 Nov. 2020 Jalen Pelrean made an interception near the sideline to dissolve whatever dim hope the Purple Knights had for a comeback. Chris Dabe, NOLA.com, "‘We needed this’: Rummel defense meets challenge set by coach in win against St. Augustine," 7 Nov. 2020 Sea creatures would've eaten away flesh because protein is scarce in the deep ocean, and bones dissolve at great ocean depths because of seawater's chemistry, Gallo said. Arkansas Online, "Plan to retrieve Titanic radio spurs debate on human remains," 18 Oct. 2020 Sea creatures would've eaten away flesh because protein is scarce in the deep ocean, and bones dissolve at great ocean depths because of seawater's chemistry, Gallo said. Bloomberg.com, "Plan to Retrieve Titanic Radio Spurs Debate on Human Remains," 18 Oct. 2020 James made headlines by making public a civil investigation into the Trump organization over its finances and suing to dissolve the National Rifle Association. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Exclusive: GOP lawmaker urges Barr to appoint special counsel to investigate New York attorney general," 2 Oct. 2020 Soluble rocks like limestone, dolomite, and gypsum are submerged under water, where the minerals slowly dissolve into the surrounding water. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Mathematicians may have unlocked the secret of how “stone forests” form," 16 Sep. 2020 The black cat bubble bar is a feline shape just waiting to dissolve into a bewitching aroma of bergamot and citrus. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Lush Just Dropped Its Halloween Collection — & You’ll Want To Draw A Bath ASAP," 15 Sep. 2020 According to People, the couple filed the necessary paperwork to dissolve the charity in the UK. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Formally Dissolve SussexRoyal, Their Former UK Charity," 6 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 And if the plant still seems to lag, consider using a half dose of a dissolve-in-water-fertilizer every other week. oregonlive, "Ask an expert: What sort of pruning is needed to reshape a laurel hedge?," 23 Aug. 2020 The statement included a list of demands, which included requesting the college dissolve JSS and old its authors accountable. Fox News, "Music faculty at Texas college stokes ire for suggesting music theory isn’t white supremacist," 5 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

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 1 Dec. 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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