View synonyms for resolve


[ ri-zolv ]

verb (used with object)

, re·solved, re·solv·ing.
  1. to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something):

    I have resolved that I shall live to the full.

    Synonyms: confirm

  2. to separate into constituent or elementary parts; break up; cause or disintegrate (usually followed by into ).

    Synonyms: reduce, analyze

  3. to reduce or convert by, or as by, breaking up or disintegration (usually followed by to or into ).
  4. to convert or transform by any process (often used reflexively).
  5. to reduce by mental analysis (often followed by into ).
  6. to settle, determine, or state in a formal vote or formal expression of opinion or intention, as of a deliberative assembly.
  7. to deal with (a question, a matter of uncertainty, etc.) conclusively; settle; solve:

    to resolve the question before the board.

  8. to clear away or dispel (doubts, fears, etc.); answer:

    to resolve any doubts we may have had.

  9. Chemistry. to separate (a racemic mixture) into optically active components.
  10. Music. to cause (a voice part or the harmony as a whole) to progress from a dissonance to a consonance.
  11. Optics. to separate and make visible the individual parts of (an image); distinguish between.
  12. Medicine/Medical. to cause (swellings, inflammation, etc.) to disappear without suppuration.

verb (used without object)

, re·solved, re·solv·ing.
  1. to come to a determination; make up one's mind; determine (often followed by on or upon ):

    to resolve on a plan of action.

  2. to break up or disintegrate.
  3. to be reduced or changed by breaking up or otherwise (usually followed by to or into ).
  4. Music. to progress from a dissonance to a consonance.


  1. a resolution or determination made, as to follow some course of action.

    Synonyms: decision

  2. firmness of purpose or intent; determination.


/ rɪˈzɒlv /


  1. takes a clause as object or an infinitive to decide or determine firmly
  2. to express (an opinion) formally, esp (of a public meeting) one agreed by a vote
  3. also intrusually foll byinto to separate or cause to separate (into) (constituent parts or elements)
  4. usually reflexive to change, alter, or appear to change or alter

    the ghost resolved itself into a tree

  5. to make up the mind of; cause to decide

    the tempest resolved him to stay at home

  6. to find the answer or solution to; solve

    to resolve a problem

  7. to explain away or dispel

    to resolve a doubt

  8. to bring to an end; conclude

    to resolve an argument

  9. med to cause (a swelling or inflammation) to subside, esp without the formation of pus
  10. also intr to follow (a dissonant note or chord) or (of a dissonant note or chord) to be followed by one producing a consonance
  11. chem to separate (a racemic mixture) into its optically active constituents
  12. physics
    1. to distinguish between (separate parts) of (an image) as in a microscope, telescope, or other optical instrument
    2. to separate (two adjacent peaks) in a spectrum by means of a spectrometer
  13. maths to split (a vector) into its components in specified directions
  14. an obsolete word for dissolve


  1. something determined or decided; resolution

    he had made a resolve to work all day

  2. firmness of purpose; determination

    nothing can break his resolve

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Derived Forms

  • reˈsolver, noun

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Other Words From

  • re·solver noun
  • prere·solve verb preresolved preresolving
  • unre·solving adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of resolve1

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English verb resolven “to alter, loosen, temper,” from Latin resolvere “to unfasten, loosen, release,” equivalent to re- re- + solvere solve

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Word History and Origins

Origin of resolve1

C14: from Latin resolvere to unfasten, reveal, from re- + solvere to loosen; see solve

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Example Sentences

Despite our resolve to achieve zero hunger by 2030, the sad truth is that hunger has been rising over the past several years, and there is no end in sight.

From Fortune

Now is the time to strengthen your resolve and re-devote yourself to prevention measures.

PE teachers called us lovers to mock our resolve, but the engineer was a brother to me.

Demand for Cisco’s Webex video collaboration tool soared, requiring resolve on the part of frontline Cisconians and executives alike.

From Fortune

I’m enjoying it too much to realize my mother’s and my resolve for a small Chuseok meal have been compromised.

From Eater

They were born in 51 countries and speak 59 foreign languages, but they seemed bound by a single purpose and resolve.

There is the will of the people; the resolve of the political class; the courage of the media; and the authority of the courts.

The city may have learned something about resolve in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Modi has ordered his army commanders to strike back hard at the Line of Control to demonstrate Indian resolve.

I ask them how can they resolve that with what they are doing.

There was something strange in my brother's resolve to leave Six Stars and try his fortunes in the city.

If any weakening of resolve were in himself, it disappeared long before Tony's arrival on the scene.

But her resolve melted when she saw him before designing Providence had led him into her path.

His brow was calm, but his mouth closely compressed, as if to sustain some firm resolve.

Daniel went in, and desired of the king, that he would give him time to resolve the question, and declare it to the king.


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When To Use

What are other ways to say resolve?

To resolve something is to come to a definite or earnest decision about it. How is it different from decide and determine? Find out on