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

The letter requests the school district include a discussion of the resolution at its next meeting on July 16. Sarah Brookbank,, "Everytown for Gun Safety sends letter urging Madison Local Schools to not arm teachers," 9 July 2018 Proponents of the resolutions then struggled to find a new sponsor, as more than a dozen countries feared retaliation. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Trump Administration Opposes Major Breastfeeding Resolution," 8 July 2018 Construction began in early June of 2017 following approval of a resolution to award a contract in the amount of $1.87 million to V3 Construction Group in Woodridge. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "The natural and historic charms at Fort Sheridan open to public again," 3 July 2018 Shaky shots set in layers of low resolution give the video the same retro-funk quality of the track itself. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Diplo & Mark Ronson's Silk City Shares 'Only Can Get Better' Music Video: Watch," 26 June 2018 Johnson appeared particularly interested in seeing a swift resolution to the Trump administration's dispute with Canada. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ron Johnson 'troubled' by ethics issues against EPA chief Scott Pruitt," 15 June 2018 That process may hinge around a successful resolution to a lawsuit brought against Westfield in late May by disgruntled Horton Plaza tenant Jimbo’s. Jennifer Van Grove,, "What's happening with Horton Plaza? Now we know," 14 June 2018 Now, a new study published in Nature Astronomy offers a radical resolution to the mystery of anomalous microwave emissions (AME): spinning clouds of nanodiamonds—diamonds no bigger than the length of a typical bacterium. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Space Nanodiamonds Found to Be Source of Some Cosmic Microwave Radiation," 13 June 2018 Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, however, said after the match the managerial uncertainty had caused a negative impact on the team this season and called for a quick resolution to the issue., "Olivier Giroud Admits He Would Be Sad to See Antonio Conte Leave Chelsea as Exit Rumours Swirl," 20 May 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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Phrases Related to resolution

New Year's resolution

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for resolution

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

What made you want to look up resolution? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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