\ 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 Most of the students she’s tutored have needed help with pre-algebra: solving equations, combining like terms, finding the least common denominator. Mel Fronczek, The Indianapolis Star, "Retired teachers volunteer for Indiana K-12 homework help hotline," 18 May 2020 TikTok states it has addressed and solved identified security issues, taking action that has been verified by the cybersecurity company that identified the weaknesses. Adrienne Dunn, USA TODAY, "Fact check: TikTok a security threat used by hackers and child-traffickers?," 18 May 2020 What real-life mystery should the gang try and solve? Lauren Huff,, "The Scoob! cast solves our silliest (and weirdest) Scooby-Doo mysteries," 15 May 2020 The premise is so enticing: A murder at a New Hampshire amusement park gets solved by the teenage daughter of the park’s owner. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Rape, Torture, Murder, Beheadings — All in a Day’s Work for Marilyn Stasio," 15 May 2020 Moreover, a fractured world will make solving global problems harder, including finding a vaccine and securing an economic recovery. The Economist, "Globalisation unwound Has covid-19 killed globalisation?," 14 May 2020 The problem that Dimitrov solved involves the roots of a particularly important family of expressions called the cyclotomic polynomials. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematician Measures the Repulsive Force Within Polynomials," 14 May 2020 Come February, baseball could rise anew and refreshed, its business obstacles solved, in a nation that has demolished the coronavirus curve and has universal testing and tracing, with the promise of a vaccine coming shortly. Henry Schulman,, "Giants Splash: MLB should resume in 2021 after resolving business issues," 13 May 2020 Recruiters say the response from Britons has been enthusiastic, but nowhere near solving the problem. Sylvia Hui, The Christian Science Monitor, "A taste of Brexit: Virus locks out UK migrant farm workers," 12 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for solve

Time Traveler

The first known use of solve was circa 1533

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Statistics for solve

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Solve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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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

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