Definition of solvent in English:



  • 1Having assets in excess of liabilities; able to pay one's debts.

    ‘interest rate rises have very severe effects on normally solvent companies’
    • ‘These are envisaged so that consumers can be more confident in the knowledge that they are dealing with financially solvent companies.’
    • ‘Put simply, the pensions compensation scheme is an insurance plan, funded by a levy on solvent pension schemes, designed to protect the pensions of workers whose employers go bust.’
    • ‘And if you've planned for it, it will keep you solvent as well.’
    • ‘If one joint or joint and several debtor is insolvent, the loss resulting from his insolvency is spread equally among the solvent debtors.’
    • ‘Therefore, credit spreads tend to zero for the short-term debt of a solvent firm.’
    • ‘A solvent insurer at one point can become insolvent soon for variety of reasons.’
    • ‘The main responsibility facing directors of solvent companies is to keep proper books and records and to file annual returns and accounts on time to the Companies Office every year.’
    • ‘Indeed so long as the company is solvent the shareholders are in substance the company.’
    • ‘However, while the Trust had to prove their take-over plans were workable, solvent clubs can be traded with no questions asked by the governing body.’
    • ‘The issue for the government to decide is whether the KCA is a solvent organisation.’
    • ‘WorldCom, although still very much in operation, has been losing market share to its solvent rivals.’
    • ‘Worse, solvent customers are charging less and paying down debt.’
    • ‘Seriously, if the opposition could only open their eyes they would see a large and financially solvent constituency looking for a home.’
    • ‘Every Friday and Saturday, anyone who is solvent and ambient gets out and crawls.’
    • ‘However distasteful the theory may be, we have to admit that vicarious liability owes its explanation, if not its justification, to the search for a solvent defendant.’
    • ‘It would, of course, be a strange case in which the third party chose to pursue the insolvent insured rather than the solvent insurer.’
    • ‘If Neill's mum is already a member of a good quality occupational scheme which has the backing of a stable and solvent employer that might be her best option.’
    • ‘It simply decides that on the facts of that case the parent company in question had a legitimate interest in preserving and maximising the assets of its solvent subsidiary.’
    • ‘There is a conflict of interest between keeping banks solvent and healthy and protecting consumers.’
    • ‘On the one hand, it is ultimately answerable to the ruling body of the Central Bank, whose overriding goal is to maintain a stable and solvent financial system.’
    financially sound, able to pay one's debts, debt-free, not in debt, out of debt, in the black, in funds, in credit, creditworthy, of good financial standing, solid, secure, profit-making
    ungeared, unlevered
    View synonyms
  • 2[attributive] Able to dissolve other substances.

    ‘osmotic, chemical, or solvent action’
    • ‘A solvent cleaner is usually effective for removing lipstick.’
    • ‘Four different solvent media were considered: octane, tetrahydrofuran, acetonitrile, and water.’
    • ‘Sometimes surfactants are mixed into solvent sealers so that the residue will mix with water for easier cleanup afterwards.’
    • ‘The lacquer thinner is used as a final wash (with solvent strippers) after you've finished stripping.’
    • ‘Some examples of solvent chemicals are paint thinners, most penetrating sealers, D-Limonene, and alcohol.’
    • ‘Recent developments include the use of resin soaps and solvent gels, tailored to interact only with specific resin varnishes and leave oil formulations unaffected.’
    • ‘All solvent strippers are regarded as health hazards.’
    • ‘The tapes are available with solid adhesives or solvent acrylic and rubber adhesives.’
    • ‘Apply (do not rub) a solvent type cleaner by blotting it onto stain with a clean, white terrycloth washcloth.’
    • ‘The solvent action is terrific, even removing crud from three pistols I had just cleaned with my EEL - a real crunch test.’


  • 1The liquid in which a solute is dissolved to form a solution.

    • ‘In his dissertation, he presented theory and experiments on osmotic pressure of concentrated solutions of carbon dioxide in various solvents - just generalized soda water.’
    • ‘The substance that is dissolved into the solvent is the solute.’
    • ‘When this occurs, the solid is called called a solute, the liquid is a solvent, and the result of the process is a solution.’
    • ‘If less solute is added to the solvent then the solution is said to be unsaturated.’
    • ‘The solute is placed in the solvent and the concentrated solute slowly breaks into pieces.’
    1. 1.1A liquid, typically one other than water, used for dissolving other substances.
      • ‘Due to the hydrophobic nature of elastin, this amorphous, cross-linked protein is insoluble in water and many organic solvents.’
      • ‘Now rinse out your bearings with hot, soapy water to make sure you clear out all the solvent.’
      • ‘Next, you fill the jar with solvent and water, put the lid on and shake side to side.’
      • ‘The ore is transported to sizers and breakers, where it is crushed, mixed with water and solvent, and fed into a hydrotransport pipeline.’
      • ‘Some cleaning products, pesticides, solvents and lead in drinking water from old pipes can be dangerous to your baby.’
      • ‘To use, simply wipe paint from the brush, remove excess paint with the appropriate solvent, then rinse the brash with water and rub the head on Brash Soap to form a lather.’
      • ‘Dry Cleaning is by definition, cleaning with solvents and little or no water.’
      • ‘Since the tested flavonoids are not directly soluble in water, some organic solvents were used as agents for their dissolution.’
      • ‘Since they are not controlled substances, inhalants such as glue and other volatile solvents are easily obtainable by children and pose a significant health threat.’
      • ‘I use any of the black powder solvents or Ballistol mixed with a bit of water to do the initial clean-up to remove those corrosive primer salts.’
      • ‘This observation complements the water stripping tendency of these solvents observed above.’
      • ‘For the statistical assessment of genotoxicity, the frequencies of each type of spot per fly were compared pairwise with the corresponding solvent or water control.’
      • ‘Emulsion resins contain primarily water as the carrier with small amounts of solvent.’
      • ‘TalstarOne multi-insecticide has no odorous or plant-damaging solvents because its formulation is water based and contains no alpha-cyano group.’
      • ‘They're used in petroleum refining, removal of water from organic solvents, and other industrial processes.’
      • ‘The solvent affected 350 metres of the watercourse reacting with the water in a similar way water does to oil, creating a grey film with rainbow effect on the surface.’
      • ‘Topics include chemical substances, principles of risk assessment, occupational asthma, solvents, and health surveillance.’
      • ‘Rubber cements or solvent cements are adhesives that contain organic solvents rather than water.’
      • ‘Most shoemakers work in big factories where conditions are usually unhealthy because of the noise and working with chemical substances such as glues, solvents and dressings.’
      • ‘The triggering chemicals include multiple substances such as pesticides, solvents, perfumes, new carpets, automotive exhaust and tobacco smoke.’
    2. 1.2Something that acts to weaken or dispel a particular attitude or situation.
      ‘an unrivalled solvent of social prejudices’
      • ‘It ensures individual autonomy of a sort, but also acts as a major solvent of local Aboriginal authority structures.’
      • ‘Thus free markets are the great solvent of prejudice.’
      • ‘As a result, rock music became a powerful solvent of the state's credibility and power to inspire loyalty.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin solvent- loosening, unfastening, paying, from the verb solvere.