res·o·lu·tion | \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən \

Definition of resolution 

1 : the act or process of resolving: such as

a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones

b : the act of answering : solving

c : the act of determining

d : the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance

e : the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents

f(1) : the division of a prosodic element into its component parts

(2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable

g : the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum

2 : the subsidence of a pathological state (such as inflammation)

3a : something that is resolved made a resolution to mend my ways

b : firmness of resolve

4 : a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group

5 : the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out

6a : the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light

b : a measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (such as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image a resolution of 1200 dots per inch

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Choose the Right Synonym for resolution

courage, mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity mean mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. the courage to support unpopular causes mettle suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience. a challenge that will test your mettle spirit also suggests a quality of temperament enabling one to hold one's own or keep up one's morale when opposed or threatened. her spirit was unbroken by failure resolution stresses firm determination to achieve one's ends. the resolution of pioneer women tenacity adds to resolution implications of stubborn persistence and unwillingness to admit defeat. held to their beliefs with great tenacity

Examples of resolution in a Sentence

In June, the demagogic militia leader Moqtada al Sadr … sponsored a resolution requiring the government to seek permission of the parliament before asking the U.N. to reauthorize the presence of foreign forces in Iraq. — Lawrence Wright, New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2007 Perrotta tells a good story in a top-shelf romance kind of way, and you'll very likely find yourself eager to get to the resolution once you've begun. — Paul J. Griffiths, Commonweal, 21 Dec. 2007 The new revelation was that, in high resolution, the valley showed deep channels and scours sharply incised into bedrock … — Bertram Schwarzschild, Physics Today, September 2007 In late August, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for peacekeepers to deploy to Darfur to stop a genocide that has claimed some 400,000 lives over the last three years. New Republic, 30 Oct. 2006 The OMEGA spectrometer on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter has gone where no spectrometer has gone before, covering near-infrared wavelengths and offering 10 times the resolution of earlier instruments. — George Musser, Scientific American, December 2005 But Hannah's brief resolution suddenly gave way, and all at once she clung to Kit, sobbing like a child. — Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, 1987 Here again it would seem that the vicarious experience just once of seeing another human being completely "blotto" should be sufficient to engender a firm and unbreakable resolution never to take a chance on making a similarly disgusting spectacle of oneself. — David A. Embury, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, 1970 a court for the resolution of civil disputes We found a resolution to the dispute. computer screens with high resolutions The monitor has excellent resolution.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Both Washington and Beijing have left the door open for talks aimed at a resolution of the dispute, though no negotiations are actively under way. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "‘Shocked’ by Latest U.S. Tariff Plan, Beijing Seeks Retaliatory Action," 11 July 2018 And high-resolution jpegs help us to get the word out. Courant Staff,, "Things To Do This Week," 9 July 2018 The SuperTanker's approval in California is temporary, pending resolution of the software problem, which Wheeler said is not related to safety or performance. Kellen Browning, sacbee, "'Stretched to the limit' by fires, state allows aerial SuperTanker to re-join fight," 7 July 2018 This year, Willis is letting the NextVR team film tennis in ultra-high resolution stereoscopic 3D for the first time ever. Jacob Feldman,, "Wimbledon Embraces Technology and Tradition in Unique Way," 2 July 2018 As the name suggests, when viewed at a resolution of a few nanometres (billionths of a metre) through an electron microscope, the polymer strands look like tiny protruding bristles. The Economist, "Making medical clothing that kills bugs," 28 June 2018 Last year, Patterson convinced a colleague to help him make high-resolution digital images of Berann’s paintings so they could be shared online with the public. Betsy Mason, National Geographic, "Gorgeous Panoramic Paintings of National Parks Now Online," 28 June 2018 But users all over the world, not just in Washington, D.C., will be able to explore the wonders of Noravank and the Areni caves in high-resolution digital form even after the festival. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "This Free Virtual Reality App Drops Users in the Heart of Historic Armenia," 28 June 2018 The technique allowed them to see Zika at a resolution of just 3.1 angstroms. Jaclyn Jeffrey-wilensky, STAT, "Researchers reveal the sharpest image to date of the Zika virus," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resolution.' 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 resolution

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for resolution

Middle English resolucioun, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French resolucion, from Latin resolution-, resolutio, from resolvere — see resolve entry 1

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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The first known use of resolution was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for resolution



English Language Learners Definition of resolution

: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something

: an answer or solution to something

: the ability of a device to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail


res·o·lu·tion | \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən \

Kids Definition of resolution

1 : something decided on a New Year's resolution

2 : firmness of purpose : determination

3 : the act of solving They went to court for resolution of the matter.

4 : the solution to a problem They found a resolution to the dispute.

5 : a statement of the feelings, wishes, or decisions of a group


res·o·lu·tion | \ˌrez-ə-ˈlü-shən \

Medical Definition of resolution 

1 : the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents

2 : the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light

3 : the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)

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res·o·lu·tion | \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən \

Legal Definition of resolution 

1 : a formal expression of opinion, will, or intention voted by an official body (as a legislature) or assembled group — see also concurrent resolution, joint resolution

2 : an expression or document containing authorization usually by a corporate board of directors of a particular act, transaction, agent, or representative a corporate resolution authorizing counsel to bind the corporation to a settlement

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Comments on resolution

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one that holds something together

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