\ ˈsälv How to pronounce solve (audio) , ˈsȯlv \
solved; solving

Definition of solve

transitive verb

1 : to find a solution, explanation, or answer for solve a problem solved the crime
2 : to pay in full solve a debt

intransitive verb

: to solve something substitute and solve for x

Other Words from solve

solver noun

Examples of solve in a Sentence

They are working to solve the traffic problem. If they'll lend us the money we need, all our problems will be solved. He couldn't solve the math problem. The mystery has been solved. The FBI has been trying to solve the case for years.
Recent Examples on the Web Now all three can help solve the more immediate problem as players roll through the campus on official visits this summer. Stephen Means, cleveland, 4 May 2022 Ads promoting the online-betting measure pitch it as a way to help solve the state’s stubborn problems with homelessness. Katherine Sayre, WSJ, 3 May 2022 John Ramsey, the father of JonBenét Ramsey who was 6 years old when she was found dead in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado home in 1996, has made a plea to further analyze DNA to help solve the cold case. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 2 May 2022 Working in a group and spitballing ideas can help solve any problems you may be faced with, and bouncing suggestions off of each other should allow everyone to refine their basic concepts into real plans of action. Chicago Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 Treat them as a person of equal status who has important expertise about how to help solve the problem of their self-harm. Kevin King, The Conversation, 28 Apr. 2022 Nuclear energy could help solve Europe’s looming power crunch, advocates say, complementing a major pivot that was already underway before the war to adopt solar, wind power and other renewable technologies to meet ambitious climate-change goals. New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022 So, recycling could help solve multiple supply issues. Shel Evergreen, Ars Technica, 19 Apr. 2022 Jewitt said studying such objects can reveal insights about the solar system and help solve enduring mysteries of the cosmos. Denise Chow, NBC News, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of solve

circa 1533, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for solve

Middle English, to loosen, from Latin solvere to loosen, solve, dissolve, from sed-, se- apart + luere to release — more at secede, lose

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Time Traveler for solve

Time Traveler

The first known use of solve was circa 1533

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Dictionary Entries Near solve

Solvay process



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Statistics for solve

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Solve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for solve


\ ˈsälv How to pronounce solve (audio) , ˈsȯlv \
solved; solving

Kids Definition of solve

: to find the answer to or a solution for Can you solve the riddle?

More from Merriam-Webster on solve

Nglish: Translation of solve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solve for Arabic Speakers


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