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 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

The Bush administration tried to deny California’s effort to set its own emissions standards in 2007, but Obama had taken office before the case was resolved. Aarian Marshall, Ars Technica, "The fight over fuel economy rules is getting messy," 15 Sep. 2019 Unless the dispute over pay is resolved another strike is scheduled to take place at the end of the month. The Economist, "Business this week," 14 Sep. 2019 The patients’ motions to intervene were denied on July 31, but Ungaro agreed on July 19 to allow the clinic to retain the stem cells until the case is resolved in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "U.S. Stem Cell destruction postponed while ruling is appealed," 11 Sep. 2019 The injunction will remain in effect until it is lifted or the case is resolved at trial. USA TODAY, "Animation behind bars, Elliott the elk, SkyStar: News from around our 50 states," 10 Sep. 2019 If the conflict is amicably resolved in the weeks ahead, both crude oil and fuel prices are expected to rise along with demand as the global economic outlook brightens, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Fuel prices fall to their lowest since March," 10 Sep. 2019 Her husband had been disputing emergency room charges when the hospital sued; the case was resolved and dismissed. Laura Beil, New York Times, "The Hospital Treated These Patients. Then It Sued Them.," 3 Sep. 2019 Equities have been rebounding from last month’s drop as economic data improved, political risks from Brexit to Hong Kong eased and face-to-face talks were set to resume in an effort to resolve the trade dispute with China. Washington Post, "Stocks climb to a cusp of a record," 13 Sep. 2019 The Bush administration tried to deny California’s effort to set its own emissions standards in 2007, but Obama had taken office before the case was resolved. Wired, "The Fight Over Fuel-Economy Rules Is Getting Messy," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the opposite end of the spectrum, James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed has argued for a steep half-point cut to demonstrate the Fed's resolve to fight off a potential recession. CBS News, "Federal Reserve expected to cut interest rates on Wednesday," 17 Sep. 2019 Whether Mane wants to join the Santiago Bernabeu circus remains to be seen, but at least test some Liverpudlian resolve. SI.com, "90min's Definitive European Player Power Rankings: Week Five," 16 Sep. 2019 Then, as has been his pattern, Mr. Trump’s resolve appeared to weaken after talks with gun rights advocates. New York Times, "After String of Mass Shootings, Democrats Begin New Push for Gun Control," 10 Sep. 2019 Similarly, the danger in the South China Sea is that the West capitulates to Chinese resolve. Hugh Hewitt, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Playing the “long game” with China," 8 Sep. 2019 To the extent that nations can craft a reputation for resolve, the trade war presents Xi with a rare and unusually high-profile opportunity to send a loud and clear signal that China won’t be tossed around on the world stage. Thomas Gift, Twin Cities, "Thomas Gift: China has reasons to keep fighting a trade war," 5 Sep. 2019 Indeed, the violent crackdown by police seems only to have strengthened demonstrators’ resolve, giving them a moral upper hand that has increased their popular support. Los Angeles Times, "News Analysis: ‘Cockroaches’ vs. ‘terrorists': Can Hong Kong protesters and police dial down the rage?," 1 Sep. 2019 As Lam digs in, the protestors’ resolve also shows no signs of abating. Time, "Hong Kong Leader Says No Need for Beijing to Intervene in Protests Amid Escalating Violence," 27 Aug. 2019 Salvini’s resolve has seen previous similar standoffs end with disembarkation either ultimately taking place in Italy or elsewhere in Europe. Washington Post, "Migrants jump off rescue boat to try to reach Italian island," 18 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for resolve

Last Updated

17 Oct 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

Comments on resolve

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