\ 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 Blade Runner 2049 starred Ryan Gosling as a new robot bounty hunter who had to team up with an older Deckard to solve the mystery of the first replicant child. Christian Holub,, 15 Sep. 2022 From the makers of Danganronpa, Master Detective Archives: Raincode follows a group of detectives that come from all over the world to solve the mystery of a city covered by perpetual rain. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 13 Sep. 2022 Thrillers and true crime novels make for fantastic beach reads for those who love to put on their detective hat and try to piece together the clues and solve the mystery before the main character. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 29 Aug. 2022 Daniel Craig takes a break from James Bond to play a schlubby journalist hired to solve the mystery of a woman’s disappearance 40 years ago, and is aided by young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara in a transformative performance). Ben Flanagan |, al, 28 Aug. 2022 For the last month, Redditors in the Nier: Automata community were trying to solve a mystery. Wired, 31 July 2022 Neither Wittgenstein nor Weil concluded that a worker’s revolt would solve these problems. Robert Zaretsky, WSJ, 3 Sep. 2022 Confronting the why Bernstein is optimistic that companies will solve all the issues that the current workplace is grappling with within five to 10 years. Jane Thier, Fortune, 2 Sep. 2022 Perhaps because policymakers have considered student debt as the burden of upwardly mobile young people, inaction has seemed a reasonable response, as if time itself will solve the problem. Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 18 Aug. 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

18 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Solve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 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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