dis·​solve | \ di-ˈzälv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) , -ˈzȯlv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) also -ˈzäv or -ˈzȯv \
dissolved; dissolving; dissolves

Definition of dissolve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause to disperse or disappear : destroy do not dissolve and deface the laws of charity— Francis Bacon
b : to separate into component parts : disintegrate dissolved the company into smaller units
c : to bring to an end : terminate the king's power to dissolve parliament their partnership was dissolved
d law : annul dissolve an injunction the marriage was dissolved
2a chemistry : to cause to pass into solution (see solution sense 2b) dissolve sugar in water dissolve a chlorine tablet
b : melt, liquefy The heat will dissolve the chocolate.
c : to cause to be emotionally moved (see move entry 1 sense transitive 5a) She was dissolved in tears.
d : to cause to fade in or out in a dissolve (see dissolve entry 2)
3 archaic : detach, loosen
4 : to clear up : to find a solution, explanation, or answer for dissolve a problem

intransitive verb

1a : to become dissipated (see dissipate sense 1) or decomposed the mist … dissolved as it touched the valleys— Han Suyin
b : break up, disperse The temporary committee will be made to dissolve.
c : to fade away His strength had dissolved.
2a : to become fluid : melt glaciers dissolving into the sea
b chemistry : to pass into solution Salt dissolves in water.
c : to be overcome emotionally He dissolved into tears.
d : to resolve itself as if by dissolution hate dissolved into fear
e : to change by a dissolve The scene dissolves to a Victorian parlor.



Definition of dissolve (Entry 2 of 2)

: a gradual superimposing of one motion-picture or television shot upon another on a screen

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Other Words from dissolve


dissolvable \ di-​ˈzäl-​və-​bəl How to pronounce dissolve (audio) , -​ˈzȯl-​ \ adjective
dissolvent \ di-​ˈzäl-​vənt How to pronounce dissolve (audio) , -​ˈzȯl-​ \ noun or adjective
dissolver noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dissolve

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of dissolve in a Sentence

Verb Dissolve the tablet in water. Hopes for peace dissolved in renewed violence. His kind words dissolved her sadness. The treatment is used to dissolve kidney stones.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One way out of this is to dissolve the debt ceiling, and instead to negotiate and argue about spending during the budget process itself—a common parliamentary procedure in many parts of the word. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 30 Sep. 2021 If two attempts to elect a chancellor with a majority fail, the constitution allows for the president to appoint the candidate who wins the most votes in a third vote as chancellor or to dissolve the Bundestag and hold a new national election. Geir Moulson, ajc, 27 Sep. 2021 Traditional processes use solvents to dissolve wood or waste and extract the cellulose (the fibers’ building blocks) before rebuilding it into new fibers for spinning and textile production. Brooke Roberts-islam, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Mary Simon, formally requesting to dissolve Parliament and announcing a federal election. Katherine Singh, refinery29.com, 18 Aug. 2021 The outside world, his old life, began to dissolve. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2021 The task force began to dissolve after Atlas took a seat. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, 28 Dec. 2020 The solvent in the paint began to dissolve the primer and thin swirls of gray mixed into the white. Paul Wright, Popular Mechanics, 13 Nov. 2020 If two attempts to elect a chancellor with a majority fail, the constitution allows for the president to appoint the candidate who wins the most votes in a third vote as chancellor or to dissolve the Bundestag and hold a new national election. Geir Moulson, ajc, 20 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Heck, let the cares of 16th-century England dissolve. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 4 Oct. 2021 Angry mobs gather and dissolve, reunite and prepare for a new confrontation, while bystanders await the unexpected. NBC News, 28 Sep. 2021 The next fixed election date was October 2023, but a prime minister may at any time request the governor general dissolve Parliament - the step that triggers an election. Amanda Coletta, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Aug. 2021 Grace Colucci, whose father died of COVID-19 at a hospital after being released from a nursing home, found her immediate happiness about Cuomo’s resignation dissolve into tears. Matt Sedensky, chicagotribune.com, 12 Aug. 2021 Then there’s a lovely dissolve to a formal daguerreotype of Conan with his team, the Wabash Mashers. Ramsey Ess, Vulture, 24 June 2021 And as boundaries dissolve, the definition of a fashion model has gotten fuzzy. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 Put the coffee in a small bowl and dissolve in the boiling water. Olivia Hosken, Town & Country, 13 June 2021 This technology is also coupled with the use of (ozone), hyper dissolve oxygen, super fine filtration, ultraviolet light, and pH control. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 14 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dissolve.' 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 dissolve


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dissolve

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Latin dissolvere, from dis- + solvere to loosen — more at solve

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Time Traveler for dissolve

Time Traveler

The first known use of dissolve was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near dissolve



dissolved bone

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Statistics for dissolve

Last Updated

7 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissolve. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for dissolve



English Language Learners Definition of dissolve

: to mix with a liquid and become part of the liquid
: to officially end (something, such as a marriage, organization, or agreement)
: to end or disappear or cause (something) to end or disappear


dis·​solve | \ di-ˈzälv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) \
dissolved; dissolving

Kids Definition of dissolve

1 : to become part of a liquid Sugar dissolves in water.
2 : to bring to an end : terminate The businessmen dissolved their partnership.
3 : to fade away as if by melting or breaking up His anger quickly dissolved.
4 : to be overcome by a strong feeling He dissolved into tears.


dis·​solve | \ diz-ˈälv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) , -ˈȯlv How to pronounce dissolve (audio) \
dissolved; dissolving

Medical Definition of dissolve

transitive verb

1 : to cause to pass into solution dissolve sugar in water
2 : to cause to melt or liquefy

intransitive verb

1 : to become fluid
2 : to pass into solution

Other Words from dissolve

dissolvable \ -​ˈäl-​və-​bəl, -​ˈȯl-​ How to pronounce dissolve (audio) \ adjective
dissolver noun

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transitive verb
dissolved; dissolving

Legal Definition of dissolve

: to bring about the dissolution of

Other Words from dissolve

dissolvable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on dissolve

Nglish: Translation of dissolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dissolve for Arabic Speakers


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