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

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 He was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $10,000; Warner Chilcott paid $125 million in 2016 to resolve its criminal and civil liability. Anne M. Murphy, Laura B. Angelini, STAT, "Criminal prosecution for violating HIPAA: an emerging threat to health care professionals," 2 July 2018 In response, the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday that the Border Patrol had stopped referring parents for prosecution until those questions can be resolved, formalizing a retreat evident for several days. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Goodfellow AFB, Fort Bliss to hold migrant children," 25 June 2018 Advertising Despite his veto remaining intact, Trump may not be able to spend the money for barriers quickly because of lawsuits by Democratic state attorneys general and others that could take years to resolve. Alan Fram, The Seattle Times, "Trump border emergency survives as House veto override fails," 27 Mar. 2019 Sometimes conservative treatments aren’t enough to resolve some of the above conditions, in which case surgical intervention may be necessary. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What the Hell Is a Sitz Bath? (And Why Would You Take One?)," 14 Mar. 2019 Some political questions, resolved Politically, the move by the USB-PG isn’t as straightforward. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "The new USB4 spec promises a lot: Thunderbolt 3 support, 40Gbps bandwidth, and less confusion," 5 Mar. 2019 In an effort to resolve the question about whether Sandberg should go, Facebook’s board today issued a statement of support over her handling of the George Soros issue. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 That rag-tag band of survivors inspires the people with their optimistic resolve to pick themselves up from despair and show us that the road ahead can be routed and paved by the people, for the people and of the people. Steve West, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Innocence lost, power found | Opinion," 8 May 2018 Ohio State has done so much to show it's nothing like the Buckeye teams of the past two years with a strong resolve, clutch plays and ability to come back no matter the deficit. Bill Landis, cleveland.com, "Ohio State basketball: 15 thoughts on Buckeyes' Penn State problem, a surprising blowout loss," 16 Feb. 2018 Such scenes are likely to test the resolve of Mr. Macron, who has refused to back down from his fuel-tax increase as well as his pro-business overhaul of France’s economy. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "Antigovernment Rally Is Among the Most Violent to Hit Paris in Decades," 2 Dec. 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

18 Apr 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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