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

Another domestic call four months later was part of the case resolved Friday. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Actor Heather Locklear pleads no contest in battery against deputies," 17 Aug. 2019 Twitter-scrolling and life itself can sometimes feel akin to being throttled through some strange and endless pneumatic tube—would that all our journeys could resolve so gently. Rachel Riederer, The New Yorker, "The Nihilistic Euphoria of the Fish Tube," 15 Aug. 2019 While no one act of company or congress will resolve the issue, every one of them makes a difference to the employee that benefits. Fortune, "Retaining Good Employees Is Tougher Than Ever, but Offering Paid Family Leave Can Help," 15 Aug. 2019 Obviously, lack of experience in a new market is a temporary problem, which should resolve over time as institutions learn what works best. Katerina Manoff, The Atlantic, "How They (Online Graduate Programs) Get You," 14 Aug. 2019 The foot problems should certainly be behind him by Week 1, and the helmet issue also figures to get resolved before training camp ends. Des Bieler, The Denver Post, "The top fantasy football wide receivers to draft in 2019," 12 Aug. 2019 Staff will work with Frontier to review the findings of this data analysis and to develop a plan to resolve the recurring outages and will report to the Commission if further action becomes necessary. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Frontier network outages get worse in NY, triggering state investigation," 12 Aug. 2019 The Cards have collectively looked in the mirror and resolved to clean up their act. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville football's culture change means accountability and effort are back," 10 Aug. 2019 How this gets resolved could have serious implications for the accuracy of forecasting, which will be increasingly important in a warming world expected to have more extreme weather events. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "High-stakes dispute turns nasty, pits 5G technology against weather forecasting," 6 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everyone’s resolve to make sure that this does not continue to happen in this country. Washington Post, "The Latest: Texas officials say 20 dead, 26 hurt in shooting," 4 Aug. 2019 A week into training camp, Purcell’s resolve has certainly caught the attention of Denver’s coaching staff. Parth Upadhyaya, The Denver Post, "Highlands Ranch grad Mike Purcell’s football journey leads him back home to Broncos," 25 July 2019 But the new rule is just the latest development to wear away at that resolve. Dara Lind, ProPublica, "Asylum-Seekers Who Followed Trump Rule Now Don’t Qualify Because of New Trump Rule," 22 July 2019 In these eight days of the Apollo 11 mission the world was witness to not only the triumph of technology, but to the strength of man's resolve and the persistence of his imagination. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Remembering Walter Cronkite's words on the day of the Apollo 11 moon landing," 20 July 2019 The resolve that drove him last week seemed to fade as this outing reached its 91-pitch end in the fifth inning. Los Angeles Times, "Felix Peña can’t repeat last week’s no-hit magic as Astros rout Angels," 17 July 2019 Celeste, who is a lawyer herself and has a consort of powerful friends and money, finds the resolve to challenge Mary Louise. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Big Little Lies episode 6, “The Bad Mother,” tries to show why women don’t report abuse," 15 July 2019 Despite the lopsided score line, Gauff did test Halep’s renewed resolve. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Coco Gauff Loses to Simona Halep, Ending Magical Wimbledon Run," 8 July 2019 However, when Moses went to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, the Israelites grew impatient and Aaron’s resolve collapsed. National Geographic, "Why Moses’s brother worshipped a golden calf," 3 May 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

22 Aug 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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