from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To make a firm decision about: synonym: decide.
  • intransitive verb To decide or express by formal vote.
  • intransitive verb To cause (a person) to reach a decision.
  • intransitive verb To change or convert.
  • intransitive verb To find a solution to; solve.
  • intransitive verb To remove or dispel (doubts).
  • intransitive verb To bring to a usually successful conclusion.
  • intransitive verb Medicine To cause reduction of (an inflammation, for example).
  • intransitive verb Music To cause (a tone or chord) to progress from dissonance to consonance.
  • intransitive verb Chemistry To separate (an optically inactive compound or mixture) into its optically active constituents.
  • intransitive verb To render parts of (an image) visible and distinct.
  • intransitive verb Mathematics To separate (a vector, for example) into coordinate components.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To separate (something) into constituent parts.
  • intransitive verb Obsolete To cause (something) to melt or dissolve.
  • intransitive verb To reach a decision or make a determination.
  • intransitive verb To become separated or reduced to constituents.
  • intransitive verb Music To undergo resolution.
  • noun Firmness of purpose; resolution.
  • noun A determination or decision; a fixed purpose.
  • noun A formal resolution made by a deliberative body.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In optics, to make distinguishable, by means of an optical instrument, the details of structure of a body, or to separate by such means close-lying bodies, such as the stars in a cluster.
  • noun The act of resolving or solving; resolution; solution.
  • noun An answer.
  • noun That which has been resolved or determined on; a resolution.
  • noun Firmness or fixedness of purpose; resolution; determination.
  • noun The determination or declaration of any corporation, association, or representative body; a resolution.
  • To loosen; set loose or at ease; relax.
  • To melt; dissolve.
  • To disintegrate; reduce to constituent or elementary parts; separate the component parts of.
  • Specifically In medicine, to effect the disappearance of (a swelling) without the formation of pus.
  • To analyze; reduce by mental analysis.
  • To solve; free from perplexities; clear of difficulties; explain: as, to resolve questions of casuistry; to resolve doubts; to resolve a riddle.
  • In mathematics, to solve; answer (a question).
  • In algebra, to bring all the known quantities of (an equation) to one side, and the unknown quantity to the other.
  • In mech., to separate mathematically (a force or other vector quantity) into components, by the application of the parallelogram of forces, or of an analogous principle. The parts need not have independent reality.
  • To transform by or as by dissolution.
  • To free from doubt or perplexity; inform; acquaint; answer.
  • To settle in an opinion; make certain; convince.
  • To fix in a determination or purpose; determine; decide: used chiefly in the past participle.
  • To determine on; intend; purpose.
  • To make ready in mind; prepare.
  • To determine on; specifically, to express, as an opinion or determination, by or as by resolution and vote.
  • In music, of a voice-part or of the harmony in general, to cause to progress from a discord to a concord.
  • To melt; dissolve; become fluid.
  • To become separated into component or elementary parts; disintegrate; in general, to be reduced as by dissolution or analysis.
  • To form an opinion, purpose, or resolution; determine in mind; purpose: as, he resolved on amendment of life.
  • To be settled in opinion; be convinced.
  • In music, of a voice-part or of the harmony in general, to pass from a discord to a concord.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To be separated into its component parts or distinct principles; to undergo resolution.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English resolven, to dissolve, from Old French resolver, from Latin resolvere, to untie : re-, re- + solvere, to untie; see leu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Latin resolvō.


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  • Contranymic in the sense of resolve = firmness and resolve = to ease, soften, as a problem. Also one of the bi-sonics: solve again v. determination, firmness..

    July 8, 2012