verb (used with object), re·solved, re·solv·ing.

verb (used without object), re·solved, re·solv·ing.


a resolution or determination made, as to follow some course of action.
firmness of purpose or intent; determination.

Nearby words

  1. resolutely,
  2. resolution,
  3. resolutioner,
  4. resolutive,
  5. resolvable,
  6. resolved,
  7. resolvent,
  8. resolving power,
  9. resonance,
  10. resonance radiation

Origin of resolve

1325–75; Middle English resolven (v.) < Latin resolvere to unfasten, loosen, release, equivalent to re- re- + solvere to loosen; see solve

Related formsre·solv·er, nounpre·re·solve, verb, pre·re·solved, pre·re·solv·ing.un·re·solv·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1. See decide. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for resolve

British Dictionary definitions for resolve


verb (mainly tr)

(takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to decide or determine firmly
to express (an opinion) formally, esp (of a public meeting) one agreed by a vote
(also intr usually foll by into) to separate or cause to separate (into) (constituent parts or elements)
(usually reflexive) to change, alter, or appear to change or alterthe ghost resolved itself into a tree
to make up the mind of; cause to decidethe tempest resolved him to stay at home
to find the answer or solution to; solveto resolve a problem
to explain away or dispelto resolve a doubt
to bring to an end; concludeto resolve an argument
med to cause (a swelling or inflammation) to subside, esp without the formation of pus
(also intr) to follow (a dissonant note or chord) or (of a dissonant note or chord) to be followed by one producing a consonance
chem to separate (a racemic mixture) into its optically active constituents
  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
maths to split (a vector) into its components in specified directions
an obsolete word for dissolve


something determined or decided; resolutionhe had made a resolve to work all day
firmness of purpose; determinationnothing can break his resolve
Derived Formsresolver, noun

Word Origin for resolve

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

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

Word Origin and History for resolve
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for resolve




To cause resolution of an abnormal condition.
To separate an optically inactive compound or mixture into its optically active constituents.
To render parts of an image visible and distinct.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.