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

British businesses breathed a sigh of relief, but feared the respite would be temporary unless politicians can resolve a political crisis that been building since the surprise result of the 2016 Brexit referendum. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "Shame, sadness in UK as Brexit reveals Parliament’s flaws," 14 Apr. 2019 Milwaukee did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, but Alderman Michael Murphy said resolving the case now would spare taxpayers millions of dollars more to continue the litigation. NBC News, "Milwaukee to pay $3.4 million to settle 'stop-and-frisk' lawsuit," 10 July 2018 Resentments and wounds are not revealed and resolved in a day—let alone in the few hours of one afternoon. Sarah Chaves, Glamour, "This Is Us Gets So Many Things Right—But I Think It Takes the Easy Route With Grief," 2 Apr. 2019 Some of the cases resolved in 2018 include Brazilian oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA’s $853.2 million settlement with U.S. and Brazil authorities, as well as Société Générale SA’s $1.1 billion settlement related to Libyan bribery allegations. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "Antibribery Efforts Outside the U.S. Picked Up in 2018," 5 Mar. 2019 Schwartz and Savage are using a twist on the Monster of the Week structure by regularly introducing characters and conflicts that only stick around for about three episodes before being resolved, typically in a lethal fashion. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 2 of Runaways forges a bold new path — eventually," 21 Dec. 2018 That strike was resolved in 1998 after the casino’s ownership changed hands. David Montero, latimes.com, "Union workers picket in Las Vegas, worried about pay, security and robots taking their jobs," 6 July 2018 Legislators can’t agree over whether to decriminalize CBD, so the discrepancy between state and federal law is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. Meredith Clark, Marie Claire, "Is CBD Even Legal Where You Live?," 12 Apr. 2019 Chairing a special session of the U.N. Security Council, Pompeo said President Donald Trump's diplomatic breakthrough with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has led to a point where the nuclear threat from the country can be resolved. Matthew Lee, Fox News, "US seeks to keep North Korea sanctions despite progress," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The hearts of the men and women of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office are heavy today, but our resolve is strong to bring the defendant to justice. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Suspect in Detroit Police officer Glenn Doss' death facing murder charges," 29 Jan. 2018 The gold medalist has transformed her fierce resolve into a message that fans and peers alike can get behind: your experiences don't define you, so get on out there and keep kicking butt. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "How Aly Raisman and Aerie’s New Activewear Collection Supports Sexual Assault Survivors," 4 Apr. 2019 And the abundance of additional material as well as a resolve to keep creating makes another hiatus seem unlikely. Gary Graff, Billboard, "The Material Is Back With 'The One That Got Away': Premiere," 1 May 2018 Humble Mayor Merle Aaron recognized Stuebe for displaying that same level of resolve in helping as the city overcomes obstacles related to Hurricane Harvey. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Humble City Council appoints new city manager," 16 Jan. 2018 And, there's proof that the resolve to keep statues standing is strong, particularly of the Confederate type. Samantha Willis, Glamour, "It's Not Just Confederate Monuments—all Statues of Problematic Men Must Go," 12 Aug. 2018 Her resolve was especially evident in her semifinal against Venus Williams, which Stephens won, 6–1, 0–6, 7–5. Louisa Thomas, Vogue, "Can Sloane Stephens Repeat her US Open Triumph?," 16 Aug. 2018 Sweden-minus-Zlatan showed its resolve eliminating Italy in a European qualifying playoff. Brian Straus, SI.com, "World Cup Tier Rankings: Establishing the True Contenders at Russia 2018," 7 June 2018 But other officials urged the president to maintain his resolve, and urged patience from West Wing colleagues. Michael C. Bender, WSJ, "Pelosi Asks Trump to Delay State of the Union Address," 16 Jan. 2019

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

16 May 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

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