\ 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 This system has been around for around 20 years and aims to solve the pension industry’s chronic underfunding problem. Chelsey Dulaney, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2022 This is, after all, an election year, when political issues tend to be easier to ballyhoo than to solve. Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune, 27 Sep. 2022 Phil Blair, head of Manpower of San Diego, a staffing firm, is uncertain that this law will solve the issue of inequity in the workplace. Natallie Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Sep. 2022 To critics, Poundbury is a prince’s pet project, an anti-modernist statement that is too costly and cumbersome to solve a pressing housing crisis. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Sep. 2022 Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work consensus mechanism: For transactions in the public ledger known as a blockchain to be recorded, different people—or miners—race to solve complex algorithms. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 26 Sep. 2022 In the early 20th century, communities were effectively using all kinds of models to solve for affordable, entry-level housing. Emily Badger,, 25 Sep. 2022 In real life, the Broaddus' hired an FBI agent to try and solve the case, and experts also appear to be attempting to crack the case in the trailer. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 24 Sep. 2022 While his co-workers waited for a few pizzas to go, Romero took the opportunity to solve his phone issue. USA Today, 24 Sep. 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

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Solve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 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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