resolve

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
3
4
: to progress from dissonance to consonance
resolvable
ri-ˈzäl-və-bəl How to pronounce resolve (audio)
-ˈzȯl-
 also  -ˈzä-və-
 or  -ˈzȯ-və-
adjective
resolver noun

resolve

2 of 2

noun

1
: fixity of purpose : resoluteness
2
: something that is resolved
3
: a legal or official determination
especially : a formal resolution
Choose the Right Synonym for resolve

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Milk, egg, wheat, and soy allergies often resolve throughout childhood. Brandi Jones, Msn-Ed, Health, 13 July 2024 Some bosses resolve the tension with strict crackdowns on any intrusion of leisure into the workday, while others are more inclined to trust employees and offer more flexibility. Emily Peck, Axios, 13 July 2024
Noun
Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. David Faris, Newsweek, 9 July 2024 But while these problems would challenge any government, Starmer has the opportunity—and seemingly the resolve—to govern differently. Emma Norris, TIME, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for resolve 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'resolve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near resolve

Cite this Entry

“Resolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resolve. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

resolve

1 of 2 verb
re·​solve ri-ˈzälv How to pronounce resolve (audio)
-ˈzȯlv
resolved; resolving
1
: to break up or separate into individual parts
2
a
: to clear up : dispel
resolve doubts
b
: to find an answer or solution to
3
: to reach a decision about : decide
resolve to study harder
4
: to declare or decide by a formal resolution and vote
resolvable adjective
resolver noun

resolve

2 of 2 noun
1
: something resolved : resolution
2
: firmness of purpose

Medical Definition

resolve

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

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

Legal Definition

resolve

1 of 2 verb
re·​solve ri-ˈzälv How to pronounce resolve (audio)
resolved; resolving

transitive verb

1
: to deal with successfully : clear up
resolve a dispute
2
a
: 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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on resolve

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