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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Monday’s arguments only deal with the potential issuance of the leases, and won’t resolve the cases. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "As Arctic Refuge oil lease sale looms, a court will consider a request to halt the Trump administration from issuing leases," 3 Jan. 2021 Raise a toast to the end, and resolve to let time do its magic, to heal this loss. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Woman wonders if her date might be gay," 30 Dec. 2020 Raise a toast to the end, and resolve to let time do its magic, to heal this loss. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, "Ask Amy: Woman wonders if her date might be gay," 29 Dec. 2020 Raise a toast to the end, and resolve to let time do its magic, to heal this loss. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Why does guy, who pursued her, keep saying he’s probably gay?," 29 Dec. 2020 Raise a toast to the end, and resolve to let time do its magic, to heal this loss. Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Woman wonders if her date might be gay," 29 Dec. 2020 Raise a toast to the end, and resolve to let time do its magic, to heal this loss. Send questions to Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com. Amy Dickinson, Star Tribune, "Ask Amy: Woman wonders if her date might be gay," 28 Dec. 2020 An arbitration panel may rule on some areas and can order one side to resolve the problem or offer compensation. Fortune, "The key terms of the Brexit trade deal: Everything you need to know," 25 Dec. 2020 By turning the country’s dependence on foreign chips into a cudgel for attacking companies like Huawei, the administration made Chinese business and political leaders resolve never to be caught out that way again. New York Times, "With Money, and Waste, China Fights for Chip Independence," 24 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The effort underscores Beijing’s resolve to rein in technology giants seen to be growing too quickly and, critics say, using their influence in ways that are reckless and disruptive to society. WSJ, "Alibaba, Ant Face Crackdowns From Chinese Regulators," 24 Dec. 2020 Reese and his new teammates’ faith, resolve and playing ability are sure to be tested time and again when the No. 7 Gators (8-2) square off against the No. 1 Tide (10-0) during Saturday night’s SEC title game. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Upset-minded Gators face unbeaten Alabama seeking their first SEC title since 2008," 18 Dec. 2020 China would hope that its first blow against what was once regarded as an indestructible manifestation of U.S. global supremacy would weaken American resolve and prevent retaliation. Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner, "Can America win the next big war?," 3 Dec. 2020 But the early comity doesn’t mean lawmakers won’t test the new administration’s resolve. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s new governor will face immediate challenges, reaches out to state lawmakers," 29 Nov. 2020 Minneapolis teams that connect people with social services and resolve conflicts are funded through 2020. Liz Navratil, Star Tribune, "Six months after George Floyd's death, division remains on police changes," 25 Nov. 2020 And management’s resolve to soothe staff worried about job security in a crisis has waned as a persistent virus has forced them to move closer to business-as-usual and seek to boost metrics that matter to their investors. Sridhar Natarajan, Bloomberg.com, "Wall Street Eyes More Job Cuts After Headcount Swells in 2020," 18 Nov. 2020 His face remained a mixture of sadness, intensity and resolve. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "On Veterans Day, one veteran offered his own silent salute in Ferndale," 11 Nov. 2020 After watching George Floyd slowly die under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, the world reacted with fury and resolve. Phillip Morris, National Geographic, "2020 has tested our humanity. Where do we go from here?," 13 Oct. 2020

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 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

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Time Traveler for resolve

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for resolve

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Resolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resolve. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for resolve

resolve

verb
How to pronounce resolve (audio)

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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Comments on resolve

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