resolve

verb
re·​solve | \ ri-ˈzälv How to pronounce resolve (audio) , -ˈzȯlv also -ˈzäv or -ˈzȯv \
resolved; resolving

Definition of resolve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to deal with successfully : clear up resolve doubts resolve a dispute
b : to find an answer to
c : to make clear or understandable
d : to find a mathematical solution of
e : to split up into two or more components especially in assigned directions resolve a vector
2 : to reach a firm decision about resolve to get more sleep resolve disputed points in a text
3a : to declare or decide by a formal resolution and vote
b : to change by resolution or formal vote the house resolved itself into a committee
4a : break up, separate the prism resolved the light into a play of color also : to change by disintegration
b : to reduce by analysis resolve the problem into simple elements
c : to distinguish between or make independently visible adjacent parts of
d : to separate (a racemic compound or mixture) into the two components
5 : to make (something, such as one or more voice parts or the total musical harmony) progress from dissonance to consonance
6 : to work out the resolution of (something, such as a play)
7 : to cause resolution of (a pathological state)
8 obsolete : dissolve, melt

intransitive verb

1 : to become separated into component parts also : to become reduced by dissolving or analysis
2 : to form a resolution : determine
4 : to progress from dissonance to consonance

resolve

noun

Definition of resolve (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : fixity of purpose : resoluteness
2 : something that is resolved
3 : a legal or official determination especially : a formal resolution

Other Words from resolve

Verb

resolvable \ ri-​ˈzäl-​və-​bəl How to pronounce resolve (audio) , -​ˈzȯl-​ also  -​ˈzä-​və-​ or  -​ˈzȯ-​və-​ \ adjective
resolver noun

Choose the Right Synonym for resolve

Verb

decide, determine, settle, rule, resolve mean to come or cause to come to a conclusion. decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy. she decided to sell her house determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something. determined the cause of the problem settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty. the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority. the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something. he resolved to quit smoking

Examples of resolve in a Sentence

Verb The brothers finally resolved their conflict. The issue of the book's authorship was never resolved. His speech did nothing to resolve doubts about the company's future. They haven't been able to resolve their differences. She resolved to quit smoking. He resolved that he would start dating again. The committee resolved to override the veto. Noun His comments were intended to weaken her resolve but they only served to strengthen it. a naval pilot who has been unwavering in his resolve to become an astronaut See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb We were tasked with strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and coming up with a proposal to resolve it. Linda Chase, Sun Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2022 For a while, the fact that some of our arguments are likely impossible to resolve frustrated me. Lily Meyer, The Atlantic, 18 Aug. 2022 This is different from an energy vampire who is persistently complaining about a problem without any plans to resolve it—they’re solely looking for someone to agree with them, Dr. Appleton says. Nandini Maharaj, SELF, 11 Aug. 2022 Prosecutors, defense attorneys and Judge Harry Leinenweber have only a few days to resolve them before trial begins Monday. Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, 10 Aug. 2022 Elon Musk has doubled down on his claims that a U.S. recession is inevitable and will last for the next year and a half, but the world’s richest man is starting to see some macroeconomic snags resolve themselves. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 5 Aug. 2022 Although some credit card merchant agreements require companies to address disputes quickly and resolve them within a month, the reality is that complicated cases can take time. Christopher Elliott, Forbes, 31 July 2022 The research shows that the gender gap is closing in places where electric vehicles took off more quickly, which suggests the problem could resolve itself with time. Wired, 28 July 2022 Emergency workers are on site working to resolve the issue ASAP. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But like everything else hampering the Bruins, that was a worry for another day after UCLA showed its resolve in winning for the sixth consecutive time dating to last season. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2022 At a time when U.S. leadership is hesitant if not flatly wrong, such as in the tragic decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, British resolve is critical to sustain and advance Western interests. John Bolton, WSJ, 6 Sep. 2022 There is a resolve here, and given the Biden administration’s support for Ukraine, that cannot go unnoticed by the US’s adversaries. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 2 Aug. 2022 Her resolve to rise above such negativity is what inspires him to have these conversations with his kids. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, 4 May 2021 Or maybe, as many expect, the reboot will take significant time with a flood of losses this fall that will test the patience and resolve of Eberflus and his upbeat boss. Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune, 1 Sep. 2022 Winter will test the resolve of Moscow and its adversaries. Joe Wallace And Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 29 Aug. 2022 Blinken’s declaration lands at a challenging moment, as Russia’s protracted war in Ukraine, now in its sixth month, tests the resolve of even Kyiv’s biggest backers. Missy Ryan, Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2022 The initial response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine seemed to belie their perception of Western weakness, but the resolve of the U.S., France and Germany appears to be wilting. Steve Forbes, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resolve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of resolve

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 8

Noun

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for resolve

Verb

Middle English, from Latin resolvere to unloose, dissolve, from re- + solvere to loosen, release — more at solve

Learn More About resolve

Time Traveler for resolve

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near resolve

resolvancy

resolve

resolvedly

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for resolve

Last Updated

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Resolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resolve. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for resolve

resolve

verb
re·​solve | \ ri-ˈzälv How to pronounce resolve (audio) \
resolved; resolving

Kids Definition of resolve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to find an answer to : solve They resolved the difficulty.
2 : to reach a firm decision about something I resolve to work hard.
3 : to decide by a formal resolution and vote

resolve

noun

Kids Definition of resolve (Entry 2 of 2)

: firmness of purpose : determination

resolve

verb
re·​solve | \ ri-ˈzälv, -ˈzȯlv also -ˈzäv or -ˈzȯv \
resolved; resolving

Medical Definition of resolve

transitive verb

1 : to separate (a racemic compound or mixture) into the two components
2 : to cause resolution of (as inflammation)
3 : to distinguish between or make independently visible adjacent parts of

intransitive verb

1 : to become separated into component parts also : to become reduced by dissolving or analysis
2 : to undergo resolution used especially of disease or inflammation

Other Words from resolve

resolvable \ -​ˈzäl-​və-​bəl, -​ˈzȯl-​ also -​ˈzäv-​ə-​ or -​ˈzȯv-​ə-​ \ adjective

resolve

verb
re·​solve | \ ri-ˈzälv How to pronounce resolve (audio) \
resolved; resolving

Legal Definition of resolve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to deal with successfully : clear up resolve a dispute
2a : to declare or decide by formal resolution and vote
b : to change by resolution or formal vote the house resolved itself into a committee

intransitive verb

: to form a resolution

resolve

noun

Legal Definition of resolve (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that is resolved
2 : a legal or official determination especially : a legislative declaration

More from Merriam-Webster on resolve

Nglish: Translation of resolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of resolve for Arabic Speakers

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