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

1a : 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
3a : 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
4a : 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
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

Other Words from resolve

Verb

resolvable \ ri-​ˈzäl-​və-​bəl How to pronounce resolve (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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the board’s power to resolve the dispute could be nullified if the list is terminated before then, according to the union. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 13 Aug. 2022 The company put $2 billion into a trust as part of the unit’s bankruptcy to resolve all current and future talc claims. Jef Feeley, Fortune, 11 Aug. 2022 Hayden told her that officials need to find ways to resolve cases without the need for a trial. Milton J. Valencia, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Aug. 2022 Compassion could then encourage us to resolve even intense or stubborn conflicts. Chicago Tribune, 11 Aug. 2022 Chipotle Mexican Grill has reached a $20 million settlement with New York City to resolve fair scheduling and sick-leave violations affecting 13,000 current and former employees. Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2022 Prosecutors and lawyers for Cisterra Development and real estate broker Jason Hughes are working to resolve a dispute over whether materials seized during searches last fall are subject to attorney-client privilege. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Aug. 2022 Jahan said the government’s focus on the Ukrainian refugee crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion in February had also slowed efforts to resolve their predicament. Emma Batha, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Aug. 2022 The previously undisclosed payments, made in 2007 and 2009, bring the total in alleged agreements to resolve claims of misconduct against McMahon to $19.6 million. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But doubts about American resolve remain common in Asia. New York Times, 5 Aug. 2022 The difference is an even greater resolve to finish the job. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 28 July 2022 But following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Wall Street isn't convinced the Fed will have the same resolve to aggressively push ahead. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 2 Mar. 2022 In Washington, meanwhile, rabid political divisions raise serious doubts about continued American resolve. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 24 Feb. 2022 Whether Washington likes it or not, the rest of the world is connecting the dots of recent history to raise doubts about American resolve when confronted with military reverses. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 Those entreaties are unlikely to satisfy Xi, who has cultivated a hypernationalistic mood at home and is likely to feel compelled to respond forcefully to demonstrate Chinese resolve. Lily Kuo, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 Some officials and experts say that by trying to play the role of honest brokers, those countries are giving false balance to a war with one clear aggressor — signaling to Putin that Western resolve is wavering. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 7 June 2022 The May 9 commemorations provide the Kremlin with an important opportunity to maintain popular resolve in the war. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, 1 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of resolve

Verb

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

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

Learn More About resolve

Time Traveler for resolve

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near resolve

resolvancy

resolve

resolvedly

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for resolve

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Resolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resolve. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for resolve

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on resolve

Nglish: Translation of resolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of resolve for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!