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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pelosi’s insight was that any Democratic proposal would necessarily prompt intra-party infighting and muddy the waters, while Republicans simply had no way of resolving the internal contradictions of their own position. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The time Nancy Pelosi saved Social Security," 21 Nov. 2018 Abiy visited the restive regions shortly after taking office and stressed the importance of resolving differences through dialogue instead. Elias Meseret, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Love always wins:' Ethiopian PM responds to assassination attempt," 25 June 2018 Abiy visited the restive regions shortly after taking office and stressed the importance of resolving differences through dialogue instead. NBC News, "Ethiopia's new prime minister escapes grenade attack, 1 dead," 23 June 2018 Abiy visited the restive regions shortly after taking office and stressed the importance of resolving differences through dialogue instead. Elias Meseret, USA TODAY, "Deadly blast at Ethiopian prime minister rally a ‘well-orchestrated attack’," 23 June 2018 Abiy visited the restive regions shortly after taking office and stressed the importance of resolving differences through dialogue instead. Elias Meseret, chicagotribune.com, "Scores hurt, 1 dead in attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's PM: 'The prime minster was the target'," 23 June 2018 Barrick last year said Acacia would pay $300 million as part of a deal to resolve the dispute, or nearly 40% of Acacia’s 2017 revenue, but a final agreement hasn’t been reached. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "Countries Push to Extract More Cash from Big Mining Companies," 18 Nov. 2018 But Adams, like all other Circuit City employees, had signed an agreement to resolve all disputes with the company through private arbitration. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "House Democrats have a sweeping plan to protect millions of workers’ legal rights," 14 Nov. 2018 Haq noted that Guterres has urged the U.S. and Russia to resolve their dispute over the INF, to extend the New START treaty and to take new steps to reduce nuclear stockpiles. Fox News, "Treaty exits and extensions top Trump adviser's Moscow talks," 23 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But a humbler, more open approach could attract some of his peripheral supporters and weaken the resolve of his base. Bobby Jindal, WSJ, "Democrats, Try Some Self-Restraint," 8 Oct. 2018 United, though, are armed with the wherewithal and are considering testing PSG's resolve with an offer. SI.com, "Man Utd Reportedly Offered Marco Verratti Following Discouraging Talks With New Boss Thomas Tuchel," 25 June 2018 Having failed to mobilise workers against Mr Macron’s labour reform last September, hardline unions now sense a chance to test his resolve. The Economist, "Railway strikes test Macron’s reforms," 7 Apr. 2018 Netanyahu, visiting the Golan on Tuesday, peered across the border into Syria and in public remarks warned Israel's enemies not to test its resolve. Author: Maayan Lubell, Lisa Barrington, Anchorage Daily News, "Israeli jet shot down after bombing Iranian site in Syria," 10 Feb. 2018 And the circumstances of Bannon’s exit — amid the firestorm after Trump equivocated on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville — helped stiffen Democratic resolve against working with his administration. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Trump versus Bannon threatens populist economic agenda," 4 Jan. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about resolve

Statistics for resolve

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for resolve

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up resolve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!