\ 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

Isn't providing beds at least solving a temporary need? Tanya Edwards,, "Inside Wayfair Employees' Protest Of The Company's Business With Migrant Detention Centers," 30 June 2019 Racine police are seeking help solving a robbery at a Wells Fargo Bank in Racine County Saturday morning. Alexa Buechler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Racine Police Department investigating robbery at Wells Fargo," 29 June 2019 Besides solving crime with his wildly high IQ, Matthew has played many other interesting characters, too. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Is Matthew Gray Gubler Coming Back for the 'Criminal Minds' Final Season?," 29 June 2019 Larry Persily, a journalist who has also worked on oil and gas issues for the state, federal government and municipalities, is skeptical that an Alberta-to-Alaska rail link will solve this problem or even be built. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Railroad signs initial deal for link to Canada and the rest of the country," 28 June 2019 Knowing this not only solves a long standing scientific mystery. Paul Manger, Quartz Africa, "Elephants evolved larger brains partly thanks to climate change, say scientists," 28 June 2019 Once the discussion has occurred move into problem solving mode. Tom Cooney And Crystal Faulkner,, "BusinessWise: Healthy conflict can improve meeting engagement in workplace," 27 June 2019 But those are all things that can be solved down the line. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Oppo announces the ultimate notch killer: an under-screen selfie cam," 26 June 2019 Yes, Chelsea fans may be caught up in Frank Lampard hysteria right now, but the likely return of the club's greatest goalscorer won't instantly solve all of their very pressing problems., "6 Positions Chelsea Must Strengthen (From Within) to Compete Next Season," 26 June 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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Learn More about solve

Dictionary Entries near solve



Solvay process





Statistics for solve

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for solve

The first known use of solve was circa 1533

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More Definitions for solve



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with solve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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