solve

verb
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Rias, Rocky Miller and Martin Cooper Jr., themselves former corner boys – know the violence is not an easy problem to solve. Cara Anthony, USA TODAY, "Spoiled food, drug deals gone wrong: SNAP recipients want change at corner stores," 15 Nov. 2019 In this view of creative momentum, the key to solving a problem is to take a break from worrying, to move the problem to the back burner, to let the unwatched pot boil. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "In China’s Bumpy World of Electric Cars, One Startup Is Gaining Speed," 14 Nov. 2019 When the Weills gave the 2016 gift to create the Weill Institute for Neurosciences at UCSF, they already had been told that supporting collaboration would be key to solving disorders of the brain. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Sandy and Joan Weill donate $106M for brain research at UCSF, UC Berkeley, UW," 12 Nov. 2019 Additionally, Tyson had lent his influential voice to a variety of national causes, from hunger to solving homelessness to race. Time, "Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson Dies at 60," 10 Nov. 2019 In this view of creative momentum, the key to solving a problem is to take a break from worrying, to move the problem to the back burner, to let the unwatched pot boil. Dan Rockmore, The New Yorker, "The Myth and Magic of Generating New Ideas," 7 Nov. 2019 Much of applied science involves nonlinear systems and problem solving. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Why Is the Three-Body Problem Unsolvable?," 6 Nov. 2019 The researchers suggest that high-complexity jobs, which require creative problem solving, aren't necessarily a great match for highly conscientious people who want structure and predictability in their work. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Conscientiousness may matter less if you’re a lawyer than if you’re in sales," 30 Oct. 2019 Tips leading to solving the crimes could lead to a reward, police said. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "Covington police: Video shows 'Ner do wells' jumping on, breaking, BMW windshields," 22 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about solve

Time Traveler for solve

Time Traveler

The first known use of solve was circa 1533

See more words from the same year

Statistics for solve

Last Updated

21 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Solve.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solved. Accessed 21 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for solve

solve

verb
How to pronounce solve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of solve

: to find a way to deal with and end (a problem)
: to find the correct answer to (something, such as a riddle)
: to find the correct explanation for (something, such as a mystery)

solve

verb
\ 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?

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on solve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for solve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with solve

Spanish Central: Translation of solve

Nglish: Translation of solve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on solve

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

WORD OF THE DAY

strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!