Definition of resolve in English:

resolve

verb

  • 1[with object] Settle or find a solution to (a problem or contentious matter):

    ‘the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days’
    • ‘There are also plans to establish a temporary cabin in the Market Place area staffed every day to answer queries and resolve problems.’
    • ‘She could only talk to a salesman, who gave her another number to call - the local delivery firm - before her problem was resolved.’
    • ‘Police discussions have still not resolved the matter of who will pay the massive costs.’
    • ‘And I think everyone needs to come together to figure out how to resolve this problem.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, these heated discussions did not resolve the matter to anyone's satisfaction.’
    • ‘Surely, the right way to resolve these matters is through proper discussion between all the parties involved, and not to try and heap all blame onto one individual in public.’
    • ‘Since I was not naming one person, it was clear I had not resolved the matter.’
    • ‘In that case, with the promises made on curbing anti-social behaviour it should only be a matter of a short time before these problems are resolved.’
    • ‘There was no reply within that time and the matter was resolved by a letter dated June 25.’
    • ‘Sometimes, the most vexed problems are resolved through simple solutions.’
    • ‘It is a big concern but we are working very hard on a solution to try and resolve the matter before it goes to court.’
    • ‘The same cast of mind also tended to seek simple, universal formulae to resolve any problem, no matter how complex.’
    • ‘She said when the problem was identified, they immediately reverted to the original configuration which resolved the problem within an hour.’
    • ‘Following the action, the education secretary promised to resolve the problem within two weeks.’
    • ‘Through that approach, persons with a dispute in the civil court are given the opportunity to resolve the matter with solutions that they devise.’
    • ‘Merely locating the car parking area next to the substation will not resolve the problem.’
    • ‘If they fail to resolve the matter within 14 days they get a red card.’
    • ‘To resolve problems concerning a water treatment unit, first try settling your dispute with the company that sold you the product.’
    • ‘Because we take all such matters very seriously, we immediately resolved the problem, and do not expect it to be an issue going forward.’
    • ‘The service aims to give customers the knowledge, tools and confidence to resolve consumer problems themselves.’
    settle, sort out, solve, find a solution to, find an answer to, fix, work out, straighten out, deal with, put right, set right, put to rights, rectify, iron out, reconcile
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    1. 1.1Medicine [with object] Cause (a symptom or condition) to heal or subside:
      ‘endoscopic biliary drainage can rapidly resolve jaundice’
      • ‘Giving capsules to children to resolve dietary deficiencies tells their families the problem is beyond their control.’
      • ‘The first priority of the dentist is to alleviate pain and resolve infection.’
      • ‘A good portion of antibiotic use appears to be for viral or spontaneously resolving bacterial infections.’
      • ‘The patient was treated and the infection was resolved.’
      • ‘Both conditions were resolved without recourse to systemic corticosteroid.’
    2. 1.2[no object] (of a symptom or condition) heal or subside:
      ‘symptoms resolved after a median of four weeks’
      • ‘Patients also kept symptom diaries until the condition resolved.’
      • ‘Fever may resolve before respiratory symptoms appear.’
      • ‘His respiratory symptoms never fully resolved, and he continued to have a wet-sounding cough and nasal symptoms.’
      • ‘This condition may resolve without symptoms, or it may affect a variety of organs, depending on the patient.’
      • ‘His hypertension and diabetes have resolved and his arthralgia has improved.’
    3. 1.3Music (with reference to a discord) pass or cause to pass into a concord during the course of harmonic change:
      [no object] ‘dissonant notes resolve conventionally by rising or falling to form part of a new chord’
      [with object] ‘you would not want to resolve a melodic line on to the minor sixth interval’
      • ‘Thus Skalkottas, although continuing the motivic development, follows the essential principle of traditional sonata form and resolves the previous harmonic tensions.’
      • ‘Generally speaking, notes resolve in the direction of their inflection: upward- inflected notes resolve up, and downward-inflected notes resolve down.’
      • ‘Dissonant notes resolve in a conventional way, only to become part of an unexpected chord.’
  • 2[no object] Decide firmly on a course of action:

    [with infinitive] ‘she resolved to ring Dana as soon as she got home’
    • ‘However, when he finally resolved on retreat a bizarre series of accidents enabled the Spaniards to occupy Bailén and cut off Dupont and a large portion of his army.’
    • ‘Having resolved to follow this course of action I contacted both England and Russia and formed an alliance to the detriment of Germany.’
    • ‘How can anger, or any other emotion or feeling, get someone to go against what they have deliberately resolved on doing?’
    • ‘With this firmly resolved in her mind, she slipped from the manor proper and into the courtyard.’
    • ‘I resolved firmly that I would mull all this over later, and that today would not be a complete loss.’
    • ‘John's life has been cloaked in the shadow of this tragedy ever since and he resolves to save his father and alter the course of his own personal history.’
    • ‘Seeing him, but firmly resolving not to speak to him, hurt more than he'd expected.’
    • ‘I don't really think that Tom is suicidal, but I am concerned that he may have resolved on some form of action without thinking through all the consequences.’
    • ‘The same board meeting also resolved on the appointment of a new manager.’
    • ‘And it was for that reason, because of all that fear, and want, and confusion, that I had eventually resolved on asking him to be friends.’
    • ‘Of course, I resolved to eat there as soon as possible.’
    • ‘I refused to answer it and resolved to let it ring.’
    • ‘I immediately harvested all that were left, and resolved even more firmly that I'd demand a greater percentage at our next interspecies conference.’
    • ‘In the mean time, I resolved to let him decide what we should do together, and go along with it unless I thought it would have a negative impact on him somehow.’
    • ‘Someday, I resolved firmly, I would make him do something about that ponytail.’
    determine, decide, make up one's mind, take a decision, reach a decision, conclude, come to the conclusion
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    1. 2.1[with clause] (of a legislative body or other formal meeting) make a decision by a formal vote:
      ‘the executive resolved that a strike would be detrimental to all concerned’
      [with infinitive] ‘the conference resolved to support an alliance’
      • ‘After a heated debate, the meeting resolved to form a committee to consolidate and investigate the origins of the lists.’
      • ‘She said the meeting resolved that a joint committee should be established to find out why the service providers did not comply with the agreement.’
      • ‘The meeting resolved that teachers had no choice but to resign in protest over the government's ‘negligence’.’
      • ‘The decision was arrived at after a committee meeting which resolved that missing training is a sign of indiscipline in the sport.’
      • ‘The meeting also resolved that there was need for prudent investment policies if the region was to develop economically.’
      vote, pass a resolution, rule, move, decide formally, agree, undertake
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  • 3Chemistry
    Separate or cause to be separated into constituent parts or components:

    [with object] ‘alpha-zein is often resolved into two major size components’
    [no object] ‘the Labyrinth's design resolves into a number of distinct functional areas’
    • ‘For example, in relaxed myofibrils, it was unclear whether each Tmod striation could be unambiguously resolved into separate thin filament profiles.’
    • ‘Malalignment can be resolved into two components.’
    • ‘Epstein et al. described sulphate uptake which was resolved into a saturable high-affinity phase and a non-saturable low-affinity phase.’
    break down, break up, separate, reduce, decompose, divide
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    1. 3.1resolve something into[with object] Reduce a subject, statement, etc. by mental analysis into (separate elements or a more elementary form):
      ‘the ability to resolve facts into their legal categories’
      • ‘O'Brien aims for nothing less than resolving this dialectic into an integrated whole, often by means of a metafictional discourse in which his characters and narrators engage in the dialectic themselves.’
      • ‘Because in proceeding thus we are only collecting by historical methodology the definitions at hand and resolving them into a general formula.’
      • ‘Somehow he resolved these complexities into a single coherent being, and yet was secure enough to have no need to dominate; his willingness to fit into an ensemble of another new generation of actors was estimable.’
      • ‘Edwards first argues that the idea of a body can be resolved into ideas of color and resistance.’
      analyse, dissect, break down, anatomize
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    2. 3.2Physics [with object] Analyse (a force or velocity) into components acting in particular directions.
      • ‘These water movements and, therefore, the resulting forces can be resolved at each point into vertical and horizontal components.’
      • ‘Harriot resolved the forces acting on the projectile into horizontal and vertical components.’
      • ‘Therefore each velocity vector is resolved in a component u in the x-direction and a component v in the y-direction.’
      • ‘In general, ripples could only be resolved when the force was at an absolute minimum.’
  • 4[no object] (of something seen at a distance) turn into a different form when seen more clearly:

    ‘the orange light resolved itself into four roadwork lanterns’
    • ‘He was stopped by a blur from nowhere that resolved itself into Yogu.’
    • ‘She flinched away from a flare of white light, which slowly resolved itself into her bedroom.’
    • ‘Poetically, the tapestry resolved itself as his eye grated into the lens.’
    • ‘The mass of white resolved itself into a human form that Williams recognized as a woman.’
    • ‘Before them was a hint of glimmer that slowly resolved itself into a stripe of blue: the sea.’
    • ‘The shadow moved forwards again, and resolved itself into a petite girl.’
    • ‘The world around her resolved itself into sharp focus, and the rainbows faded away from her eyes.’
    • ‘The deep blue silhouette resolved itself into metallic greys as they got closer.’
    • ‘The form resolved itself in Cath's recovering eyes, and it became David.’
    • ‘The bluish region had now resolved itself into what appeared to be a tunnel, vanishing to infinity in the distance.’
    • ‘It grew in intensity, and resolved itself into a streak of fire descending to the planet's surface.’
    • ‘The spidery script up its side resolved itself in just a moment to form a word.’
    • ‘A faint glow at the far end resolved itself into the lights of two lanterns.’
    • ‘A silhouette resolved itself as he squinted into the afternoon sun.’
    • ‘The third shadow had not yet resolved itself, but I knew who it was.’
    turn into, be transformed into, become clearly visible as, change into, metamorphose into, be transmuted into
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    1. 4.1[with object] (of optical or photographic equipment) separate or distinguish between (closely adjacent objects):
      ‘Hubble was able to resolve six variable stars in M31’
      • ‘These were visual binaries - stars that could be resolved by eye using a good instrument.’
      • ‘If they are separated by more than two millimeters (one-twelfth of an inch) then the telescope can resolve them as being separate, at least in principle.’
      • ‘With the aid of his telescope, Galileo could resolve thousands of new stars which were invisible to the naked eye.’
      • ‘For the first time, he was able to resolve individual stars in the Andromeda Galaxy.’
      • ‘A feeble star nearby looks the same as a very bright star far away, since stars, in general, cannot be resolved even by the most powerful telescopes.’
    2. 4.2[with object] Separately distinguish (peaks in a graph or spectrum).
      • ‘This method was used to resolve the monoanion spectra in a range of solvent-water mixtures.’
      • ‘However, the longer acquisition time is compensated by the information that can be extracted from the spatially resolved spectra.’
      • ‘These methods give rise to well resolved spectra of the protein but do not provide information about noncovalent lipid binding interactions.’
      • ‘Their photobleaching behavior was studied using spectrally resolved emission spectroscopy.’
      • ‘For the detector to resolve two peaks, one pixel between the two peaks must receive a lower signal than its neighbors.’

noun

  • 1[mass noun] Firm determination to do something:

    ‘she received information that strengthened her resolve’
    • ‘His steadfastness and resolve in the face of his critics are deserving of praise.’
    • ‘Instead of brushing up on their excuses, they should try stiffening their resolve.’
    • ‘And we fulfill our new role with a steely inner resolve regardless of what others may think.’
    • ‘This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve.’
    • ‘Joe's resolve crumbled further as he nearly shook with rage.’
    • ‘Her resolve instantly melting, Beth smiled at him and pulled out a chair.’
    • ‘Firm resolve showed in the set of his jaw as he picked her up gently.’
    • ‘We showed our cast iron resolve in this matter.’
    • ‘There is no haste but only a firm resolve to complete the work in time.’
    • ‘Very few of us have that firm resolve in ourselves to do what we are really passionate about.’
    • ‘But this side showed great resolve and conviction and by the interval had drawn level.’
    • ‘I'm not sure whether my resolve is strengthened or destroyed by this.’
    • ‘Though outwardly he was composed, inwardly his resolve wavered.’
    • ‘He won the first two frames and lost the third, which hardened his resolve.’
    • ‘Now I knew: She'd become a woman of iron resolve.’
    • ‘I could feel my knees buckling and my resolve melting.’
    • ‘And strikes can backfire: lack of public support can stiffen government resolve.’
    • ‘My resolve hardened and in one smooth motion I pushed open the door.’
    • ‘Having taken our decision, this country will now pursue our aims with firm resolve and with determination.’
    • ‘Leaders demonstrate unwavering resolve and set high standards for building great organizations, settling for nothing less.’
    decision, resolution, commitment, intention
    determination, resolution, firmness of purpose, fixity of purpose, purpose, purposefulness, resoluteness, single-mindedness, strength of will, strength of character, will power, firmness, intentness, decision, decidedness
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  • 2US A formal resolution by a legislative body or public meeting.

    • ‘A resolution does not carry any force of law; it expresses the resolve of a legislative body by drawing attention and awareness to an important subject.’
    • ‘We saw that the NATO members added their resolve to the resolve of the United States.’
    • ‘The successful outcome of this dispute will also serve as a warning to management who doubted the resolve of union members.’
    • ‘Meanwhile the resolve of some 18,000 engineers and technical workers to continue walking the picket lines remains strong.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the senses ‘dissolve, disintegrate’ and ‘solve (a problem)’): from Latin resolvere, from re- (expressing intensive force) + solvere loosen.

Pronunciation

resolve

/rɪˈzɒlv/