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[solv] /sɒlv/
verb (used with object), solved, solving.
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
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English solven < Latin solvere to loosen, free, release, dissolve
Related forms
solver, noun
presolve, verb (used with object), presolved, presolving.
unsolved, adjective
well-solved, adjective
1. resolve, unravel, untangle, crack. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for solver
Historical Examples
  • A score of blanched faces were turned to him as though he must be solver of the enigma.

    The Were-Wolf Clemence Housman
  • An exceedingly ingenious constructor and solver of fascinating puzzles, mathematical and otherwise.

    The Canterbury Puzzles Henry Ernest Dudeney
  • The U has been taken from the second 'surely' instead of the first, to mislead the solver.

    The Mystery of the Downs John R. Watson
  • No solver of least square equations at the present day ought to make such a blunder.

    Astronomical Discovery Herbert Hall Turner
  • One solver, who lives in Pennsylvania, found all the answers save one, and got the first prize of $10 as his reward.

  • A Minnesota solver secured the second prize, which in this case is made $3.

  • There was a trap for the solver in the words "seven times older than little Johnnie."

    Amusements in Mathematics Henry Ernest Dudeney
  • One solver answered correctly all save four of the questions.

  • It bore the name of this marvel, this solver of the sentimental riddle, and beneath it three interrogation marks.

    A Wanderer in Holland E. V. Lucas
British Dictionary definitions for solver


verb (transitive)
to find the explanation for or solution to (a mystery, problem, etc)
  1. to work out the answer to (a problem)
  2. to obtain the roots of (an equation)
Derived Forms
solver, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin solvere to loosen, release, free from debt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for solver



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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