\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The companies best placed to solve the fragmentation problem, and thus to dominate the business, are the existing internet giants—and specifically Google and Amazon, thanks to their lead in the fast-growing smart-speaker market. The Economist, "Tech firms think the home is the next big computing platform," 12 Sep. 2019 Fortunately, Dometic has solved those issues with its new PLB40 portable battery ($850). Wes Siler, Outside Online, "The Ultimate Overland Solar-Power Setup," 8 Sep. 2019 That all works to a certain extent, but its not going to solve the problem. Ben Brazil, Daily Pilot, "Falconers keep Orange County from being overrun by birds," 8 Aug. 2019 People closest to the problem know best how to solve it. David Montgomery, Washington Post, "Carly Fiorina: Trump didn’t cause dysfunction in politics. He’s the result ‘of all the dysfunction.’," 16 Sep. 2019 Debates or issues that could, or maybe even should, be solved in lots of other ways, via other political mechanisms, instead become arguments about legal doctrine. Louis Michael Seidman, Harper's magazine, "Constitution in Crisis," 16 Sep. 2019 Suddenly, the consensus on how to solve the five problems breaks down, and the group begins to lose cohesion. Mike Martin, Time, "How the Long History of Human Violence Explains Why the Internet Causes So Much Chaos," 11 Sep. 2019 The system relies on a type of game theory that shrinks down problems into smaller games, reducing the computational power required to solve them. The Economist, "Artificial intelligence is changing every aspect of war," 7 Sep. 2019 Businesses are thinking about how to solve range anxiety—some have opted for battery swapping (Quartz membership). Echo Huang, Quartz, "China is leaning on ride-hailing to boost sales of electric vehicles," 4 Sep. 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.

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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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Statistics for solve

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for solve

The first known use of solve was circa 1533

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More Definitions for solve


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)


\ 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?

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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

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to speed up the process or progress of

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