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

1 obsolete : dissolve, melt
2a : 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
3 : to cause resolution of (a pathological state)
4a : 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
5 : to reach a firm decision about resolve to get more sleep resolve disputed points in a text
6a : 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
7 : to make (something, such as one or more voice parts or the total musical harmony) progress from dissonance to consonance
8 : to work out the resolution of (something, such as a play)

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

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Other Words from resolve

Verb

resolvable \ ri-​ˈzäl-​və-​bəl How to pronounce resolvable (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For months, however, census officials have argued in court that not resolving the question by July 1 would impair their ability to administer the census. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration scrambles to save citizenship question on census," 5 July 2019 Since February, city and union negotiators have met 19 times — 10 in public, nine in confidential mediation — to try to resolve the dispute, which has come to dominate San Antonio politics. Dylan Mcguinness, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio firefighters take contract dispute to binding arbitration," 2 July 2019 This season, things have been mostly civil, though clearly all was not resolved. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "RHONY's Tinsley Mortimer and Sonja Morgan Get Into Screaming Match After Pride Parade," 1 July 2019 Last week, the sides agreed to enter mediation after the World Cup to try to resolve the dispute, The Wall Street Journal reported. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "U.S. Defeats France, 2-1, to Advance to Semifinals," 28 June 2019 Turns out, the players tried to resolve the matter prior to the tournament, but were never able to meet with U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro, despite multiple attempts to do so. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "Why Female CEOs Are Outnumbered by Jeffreys: Broadsheet for June 28," 28 June 2019 The utility commission did not resolve either complaint. Rebekah Sanders, azcentral, "Sun City West couple says Epcor billed them for 99,000 gallons of water they didn't use," 26 June 2019 The identity of the Democratic candidate won’t be resolved for a lot longer, but the winnowing process is about to begin. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "What to Expect in the Democratic Debates," 26 June 2019 Moving control of the standard to a foundation doesn’t resolve the messy politics around scooters. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "These Cities Will Track Scooters to Get a Handle on Regulation," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trump's continued attacks on McCain's legacy and reputation — Trump has kept their public feud alive even months after McCain died — have strengthened the resolve of McCain's supporters to keep his worldview alive through the ASU institute. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "A new era for ASU's McCain Institute without namesake Sen. John McCain," 4 May 2019 The bullying she was subjected too, however, only strengthened her resolve to wearing the hijab. Vogue, "How Rawdah Mohamed Is Challenging Modest Style Conventions and Fashion’s Inclusivity Problem," 21 Mar. 2019 The expression of resolve — in effect warning investors not to bet against the currency — was later regarded as a turning point. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "Mario Draghi Saved the Euro. Will His Successor Be Equally Committed?," 16 June 2019 The Bruins’ captain played the last three games of the Stanley Cup Final with a broken jaw and a whole lot of resolve. Charlotte Wilder, SI.com, "Bruins' Stanley Cup Loss A Sobering Experience for Boston Fans," 13 June 2019 Even as activists staged angry protests outside, the group was reduced to discussion and issuing broad statements of resolve and hopefulness. Jonathan M. Pitts, baltimoresun.com, "Catholic bishops return to Baltimore amid pressure to show accountability on sex-abuse matters," 11 June 2019 His resolve in the face of adversity has earned him the Orlando Sentinel’s annual Buchalter Spirit Award, which will be presented during a high school awards ceremony Tuesday night at Camping World Stadium. Chris Hays, orlandosentinel.com, "Foundation Academy football player Bailey Trinder survives brutal crash, inspires others with his perseverance," 11 June 2019 That someone witnessed those disappearing curtains and recorded their absence is a statement of resolve. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘Clean Curtains’ and New Year’s Resolutions," 30 Dec. 2018 Thoughtful citizens renew their resolve in the current battles. Anchorage Daily News, "How far will we take discrimination in the name of religious freedom?," 20 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of resolve

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

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Statistics for resolve

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for resolve

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

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More Definitions for resolve

resolve

verb

English Language Learners Definition of resolve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to find an answer or solution to (something) : to settle or solve (something)
: to make a definite and serious decision to do something
: to make a formal decision about something usually by a vote

resolve

noun

English Language Learners Definition of resolve (Entry 2 of 2)

: a strong determination to do something

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on resolve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for resolve

Spanish Central: Translation of resolve

Nglish: Translation of resolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of resolve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on resolve

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