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

The entire Mexico scare was a classic Trump ploy: creating a crisis and then claiming the credit for resolving it. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "A Weakening Economy May Be the Biggest Threat to Donald Trump," 8 June 2019 But the project helped us figure out how to resolve arguments. Urmila Ramakrishnan, SFChronicle.com, "We just wanted a save-the-date card with a hint of Bollywood. What could go wrong?," 7 June 2019 The messages show how both sides of the Cranley vs. Black feud scrambled to defend their positions while trying to resolve the impasse. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "New texts: Cranley and City Council talked about using private money to buy out Harry Black," 5 June 2019 Camden County Election Board Commissioner Richard Ambrosio said there were a few reports of problems at the polls Tuesday but they were quickly resolved. Jan Hefler, https://www.inquirer.com, "Camden County Democratic machine trounces progressive challengers in state and local races," 5 June 2019 But there is still uncertainty over how the United States will resolve escalating trade wars with China and Mexico, two of the country's biggest trading partners. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "Asia markets jump on Wall Street rally," 4 June 2019 While 1% of all pregnant women will have placenta previa, the majority of cases resolve themselves by 28 to 32 weeks. Kaitlin Stanford, Woman's Day, "How to Safely Have Sex During Pregnancy," 18 Apr. 2019 Stanley Tate also helped resolve the 1990s Savings & Loan financial crisis as Southeast Regional Director of the Resolution Trust Corporation. Jane Wooldridge, miamiherald, "This Miami man created the Florida prepaid college plan. He also owned Studio 54.," 2 July 2018 Prices surged to start the year amid optimism the U.S. and China would soon resolve their trade fight but have slid in recent days, with many... Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Copper Prices Approach Correction Territory as Growth Worries Spread," 24 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His resolve was only hardened by the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, and Triumph became firmly, feverishly anti-American. Declan Leary, National Review, "Catholics vs. Libertarians in the 1960s," 11 June 2019 Sporadic rain did not dampen the demonstrators’ resolve. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Thousands stage protests, marches across South Florida," 30 June 2018 During the Vietnam War, for example, both the Johnson and Nixon administrations tried to use aerial bombing to show Hanoi U.S. resolve. James H. Lebovic, Washington Post, "Will toughness on Iran help Trump with North Korea? Here are three reasons to doubt it.," 21 May 2018 Hale said, remembering his father’s growing resolve. Joe Robertson, kansascity, "63-year-old goalie died playing hockey, but lived inspiring fight against cancer | The Kansas City Star," 24 Feb. 2018 By the time 4 A.M. rolls around, her resolve has evaporated. Karen Russell, The New Yorker, "Orange World," 4 June 2017 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

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

13 Jun 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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