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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To find a solution to (a problem).
  • v. To solve again.
  • v. To make a firm decision to do something.
  • v. To come to an agreement or make peace; patch up relationship, settle differences, bury the hatchet.
  • v. To break down into constituent parts; to decompose; to disintegrate; to return to a simpler constitution or a primeval state.
  • v. to cause a chord to go from dissonance to consonance
  • v. to find the IP address of a hostname by using utilities such as a ping
  • v. To melt; to dissolve; to liquefy or soften (a solid).
  • v. To melt; to dissolve; to become liquid.
  • v. To liquefy (a gas or vapour).
  • n. Determination, will power.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of resolving or making clear; resolution; solution.
  • n. That which has been resolved on or determined; decisive conclusion; fixed purpose; determination; also, legal or official determination; a legislative declaration; a resolution.
  • intransitive v. To be separated into its component parts or distinct principles; to undergo resolution.
  • intransitive v. To melt; to dissolve; to become fluid.
  • intransitive v. To be settled in opinion; to be convinced.
  • intransitive v. To form a purpose; to make a decision; especially, to determine after reflection.
  • transitive v. To separate the component parts of; to reduce to the constituent elements; -- said of compound substances; hence, sometimes, to melt, or dissolve.
  • transitive v. To reduce to simple or intelligible notions; -- said of complex ideas or obscure questions; to make clear or certain; to free from doubt; to disentangle; to unravel; to explain; hence, to clear up, or dispel, as doubt.
  • transitive v. To cause to perceive or understand; to acquaint; to inform; to convince; to assure; to make certain.
  • transitive v. To determine or decide in purpose; to make ready in mind; to fix; to settle.
  • transitive v. To express, as an opinion or determination, by resolution and vote; to declare or decide by a formal vote; -- followed by a clause.
  • transitive v. To change or convert by resolution or formal vote; -- used only reflexively.
  • transitive v. To solve, as a problem, by enumerating the several things to be done, in order to obtain what is required; to find the answer to, or the result of.
  • transitive v. To dispere or scatter; to discuss, as an inflammation or a tumor.
  • transitive v. To let the tones (as of a discord) follow their several tendencies, resulting in a concord.
  • transitive v. To relax; to lay at ease.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • n. The act of resolving or solving; resolution; solution.
  • n. An answer.
  • n. That which has been resolved or determined on; a resolution.
  • n. Firmness or fixedness of purpose; resolution; determination.
  • n. The determination or declaration of any corporation, association, or representative body; a resolution.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. reach a decision
  • n. a formal expression by a meeting; agreed to by a vote
  • v. cause to go into a solution
  • v. find the solution
  • n. the trait of being resolute
  • v. understand the meaning of
  • v. reach a conclusion after a discussion or deliberation
  • v. bring to an end; settle conclusively
  • v. make clearly visible


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