resolve

verb
re·​solve | \ri-ˈzälv, -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 , -​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

That starts with resolving an escalating fight with Evergrande. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Faraday Future says its main investor is ‘deliberately starving’ it into bankruptcy," 9 Nov. 2018 Getting this resolved by the courts could take years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, and Prop C’s funding for the homeless would be sit unused in the meantime. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "San Francisco’s Prop C homelessness tax was a big win for Marc Benioff, but legal challenges may be coming," 8 Nov. 2018 If Congress doesn't act, court cases may play the biggest role in resolving the net neutrality debate. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Lawmaker who wants paid fast lanes on Internet wins US Senate seat," 7 Nov. 2018 Companies that wish to join the consortium can do so at VirtualLink.org, which for right now resolves to a Google Sites address. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Virtual reality giants unveil VirtualLink as a standardized cable that may simplify VR rigs," 17 July 2018 The effort allows suspects with open warrants to get their cases resolved with no immediate financial cost and no risk of arrest. Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle, "Harris DA to host Make it Right event to resolve open misdemeanor warrants," 13 July 2018 The numbers do not include how many of the complaints have been dismissed or resolved. Kimberlee Kruesi, idahostatesman, "In wake of #MeToo, Idaho sees dramatic increase in sexual harassment claims," 12 July 2018 The dissonance … cannot be easily explained or resolved. Chris Megerian, Anchorage Daily News, "For Paul Manafort, an uncommonly comfortable life behind bars," 12 July 2018 Those sessions failed to make much headway in resolving differences between the government, the military, and ethnic rebel groups seeking greater autonomy. The Christian Science Monitor, "Myanmar opens peace conference with ethnic rebel groups," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nevertheless, her resolve to push against the status quo remains. Michele Aboud, Glamour, "Saudi Arabia Was the Last Place in the World to Allow Women to Drive. Manal al-Sharif Helped Change That.," 5 Nov. 2018 Her voice may have broken, but her resolve and her story never wavered in her hours of testimony. Vogue, "Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Is More Than Just a “Credible Witness”—She’s a Hero," 27 Sep. 2018 His resolve to leave the Paris agreement won’t break the actual pact between the remaining nations. Susmita Baral, Teen Vogue, "Trump and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Explained," 2 Aug. 2018 After a restless night, Shepherd still had the resolve to win the championship match the following day, another indication of her talent and resilience. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Center Grove's Erica Shepherd looking for repeat junior title, LPGA future," 14 July 2018 The first had been rather different, a test less of courage and resolve than of ability. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Belgium's Golden Generation Shines Brightest in Ousting Brazil From World Cup," 6 July 2018 But our guys showed great grit, great toughness, great resolve throughout the week. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Shorthanded Magic lose summer league finale to Thunder 87-85," 14 July 2018 Peter fought it to the end with strength, dignity and the resolve to survive. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/11," 11 July 2018 European diplomats had said over the last several months that China had left Ms. Liu in limbo as a show of resolve against Chinese human rights dissidents, despite aggressive efforts by Germany to press for her release. Jane Perlez, New York Times, "Liu Xia, Detained Widow of Nobel Peace Laureate, Leaves China," 10 July 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

14 Nov 2018

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 \
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 \
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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