- to find the answer or explanation for; clear up; explain: to solve the mystery of the missing books.
- to work out the answer or solution to (a mathematical problem).
Origin of solve
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for solve
This is the first study of its kind in Turkey and raises the possibility that a private solution could solve a public problem.The Women Battling an Islamist Strongman
December 22, 2014
To solve the problem, we need to study a lot more comets and meteorites.Are Comets the Origin of Earth’s Oceans?
Matthew R. Francis
December 14, 2014
Is there anyone who thinks the urgent problem we need to solve in Washington, D.C. is how to allow more spending on campaigns?Just What We Needed: More Campaign Spending
December 8, 2014
“I doubt you can solve range and the need for a large magazine with the same missile,” he said.Pentagon Worries That Russia Can Now Outshoot U.S. Stealth Jets
December 4, 2014
Why are you trying to solve a cultural problem with a political solution?Dear Evangelicals: You’re Being Had
November 30, 2014
When you solve a sum you go from "a" to "b" and from "b" to "c" and from "c" to "d" and so on.
To solve their problem the engineers borrowed an idea from the Sumerians.
But this does not astonish us when we understand the difficulties which he was obliged to solve.
He was trying to solve his problem and Tillie's, and what he had found was no solution, but a compromise.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
I asked, astonished at Jim's behavior, and anxious for some clew by which to solve its mystery.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
- to find the explanation for or solution to (a mystery, problem, etc)
- to work out the answer to (a problem)
- to obtain the roots of (an equation)
Word Origin and History for solve
late 14c., "to disperse, dissipate, loosen," from Latin solvere "to loosen, dissolve; untie, release, detach; depart; unlock; scatter; dismiss; accomplish, fulfill; explain; remove," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart" (see lose). The meaning "explain, answer" is attested from 1530s; for sense evolution, see solution. Mathematical use is attested from 1737. Related: Solved; solving.