[ dih-zolv ]
See synonyms for: dissolvedissolveddissolvingdissolvable on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),dis·solved, dis·solv·ing.
  1. to make a solution of, as by mixing with a liquid; pass into solution: to dissolve salt in water.

  2. to melt; liquefy: to dissolve sugar into syrup.

  1. to undo (a tie or bond); break up (a connection, union, etc.).

  2. to break up (an assembly or organization); dismiss; disperse.

  3. Government. to order the termination of (a parliament or other legislative body).

  4. to bring to an end; terminate; destroy: to dissolve one's hopes.

  5. to separate into parts or elements; disintegrate.

  6. to destroy the binding power or influence of: to dissolve a spell.

  7. Law. to deprive of force; abrogate; annul: to dissolve a marriage.

verb (used without object),dis·solved, dis·solv·ing.
  1. to become dissolved, as in a solvent.

  2. to become melted or liquefied.

  1. to disintegrate, break up, or disperse.

  2. to lose force, intensity, or strength.

  3. to disappear gradually; fade away.

  4. to break down emotionally; lose one's composure: The poor child dissolved in tears.

  5. Movies, Television. to fade out one shot or scene while simultaneously fading in the next, overlapping the two during the process.

  1. Also called lap dissolve, cross-dissolve. Movies, Television. a transition from one scene to the next made by dissolving.

Origin of dissolve

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin dissolvere “to unloose”; equivalent to dis-1 + solve

synonym study For dissolve

1. See melt1.

Other words for dissolve

Other words from dissolve

  • dis·solv·a·bil·i·ty, dis·solv·a·ble·ness, noun
  • dis·solv·a·ble, adjective
  • dis·solv·er, noun
  • dis·solv·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·dis·solv·ing, adjective
  • pre·dis·solve, verb (used with object), pre·dis·solved, pre·dis·solv·ing.
  • re·dis·solve, verb, re·dis·solved, re·dis·solv·ing.
  • self-dis·solved, adjective
  • un·dis·solv·a·ble, adjective
  • un·dis·solved, adjective
  • un·dis·solv·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use dissolve in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dissolve


/ (dɪˈzɒlv) /

  1. to go or cause to go into solution: salt dissolves in water; water dissolves sugar

  2. to become or cause to become liquid; melt

  1. to disintegrate or disperse

  2. to come or bring to an end

  3. to dismiss (a meeting, parliament, etc) or (of a meeting, etc) to be dismissed

  4. to collapse or cause to collapse emotionally: to dissolve into tears

  5. to lose or cause to lose distinctness or clarity

  6. (tr) to terminate legally, as a marriage, etc

  7. (intr) films television to fade out one scene and replace with another to make two scenes merge imperceptibly (fast dissolve) or slowly overlap (slow dissolve) over a period of about three or four seconds

  1. films television a scene filmed or televised by dissolving

Origin of dissolve

C14: from Latin dissolvere to make loose, from dis- 1 + solvere to release

Derived forms of dissolve

  • dissolvable, adjective
  • dissolvability or dissolvableness, noun
  • dissolver, noun

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

Scientific definitions for dissolve


[ dĭ-zŏlv ]

  1. To pass or cause to pass into solution.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.