[ solv ]
See synonyms for: solvesolvedsolving on

verb (used with object),solved, solv·ing.
  1. to find the answer or explanation for; clear up; explain: to solve the mystery of the missing books.

  2. to work out the answer or solution to (a mathematical problem).

Origin of solve

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English solven, from Latin solvere “to loosen, free, release”

Other words for solve

Other words from solve

  • solver, noun
  • pre·solve, verb (used with object), pre·solved, pre·solv·ing.
  • un·solved, adjective
  • well-solved, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use solve in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for solve


/ (sɒlv) /

  1. to find the explanation for or solution to (a mystery, problem, etc)

  2. maths

    • to work out the answer to (a problem)

    • to obtain the roots of (an equation)

Origin of solve

C15: from Latin solvere to loosen, release, free from debt

Derived forms of solve

  • solver, 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