Definition of solvent in US English:



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

    ‘interest rate rises have very severe effects on normally solvent companies’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Worse, solvent customers are charging less and paying down debt.’
    • ‘WorldCom, although still very much in operation, has been losing market share to its solvent rivals.’
    • ‘Every Friday and Saturday, anyone who is solvent and ambient gets out and crawls.’
    • ‘It would, of course, be a strange case in which the third party chose to pursue the insolvent insured rather than the solvent insurer.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Therefore, credit spreads tend to zero for the short-term debt of a solvent firm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Seriously, if the opposition could only open their eyes they would see a large and financially solvent constituency looking for a home.’
    • ‘And if you've planned for it, it will keep you solvent as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These are envisaged so that consumers can be more confident in the knowledge that they are dealing with financially solvent companies.’
    • ‘If one joint or joint and several debtor is insolvent, the loss resulting from his insolvency is spread equally among the solvent debtors.’
    • ‘The issue for the government to decide is whether the KCA is a solvent organisation.’
    • ‘There is a conflict of interest between keeping banks solvent and healthy and protecting consumers.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
    View synonyms
  • 2attributive Able to dissolve other substances.

    ‘osmotic, chemical, or solvent action’
    • ‘The lacquer thinner is used as a final wash (with solvent strippers) after you've finished stripping.’
    • ‘Apply (do not rub) a solvent type cleaner by blotting it onto stain with a clean, white terrycloth washcloth.’
    • ‘Sometimes surfactants are mixed into solvent sealers so that the residue will mix with water for easier cleanup afterwards.’
    • ‘All solvent strippers are regarded as health hazards.’
    • ‘Four different solvent media were considered: octane, tetrahydrofuran, acetonitrile, and water.’
    • ‘A solvent cleaner is usually effective for removing lipstick.’
    • ‘The tapes are available with solid adhesives or solvent acrylic and rubber adhesives.’
    • ‘The solvent action is terrific, even removing crud from three pistols I had just cleaned with my EEL - a real crunch test.’
    • ‘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.’


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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 solute is placed in the solvent and the concentrated solute slowly breaks into pieces.’
    • ‘If less solute is added to the solvent then the solution is said to be unsaturated.’
    1. 1.1 A liquid, typically one other than water, used for dissolving other substances.
      • ‘Next, you fill the jar with solvent and water, put the lid on and shake side to side.’
      • ‘Topics include chemical substances, principles of risk assessment, occupational asthma, solvents, and health surveillance.’
      • ‘The triggering chemicals include multiple substances such as pesticides, solvents, perfumes, new carpets, automotive exhaust and tobacco smoke.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Since the tested flavonoids are not directly soluble in water, some organic solvents were used as agents for their dissolution.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some cleaning products, pesticides, solvents and lead in drinking water from old pipes can be dangerous to your baby.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dry Cleaning is by definition, cleaning with solvents and little or no water.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now rinse out your bearings with hot, soapy water to make sure you clear out all the solvent.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Rubber cements or solvent cements are adhesives that contain organic solvents rather than water.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They're used in petroleum refining, removal of water from organic solvents, and other industrial processes.’
      • ‘The ore is transported to sizers and breakers, where it is crushed, mixed with water and solvent, and fed into a hydrotransport pipeline.’
      • ‘Due to the hydrophobic nature of elastin, this amorphous, cross-linked protein is insoluble in water and many organic solvents.’
    2. 1.2 Something that acts to weaken or dispel a particular attitude or situation.
      ‘an unrivaled solvent of social prejudices’
      • ‘As a result, rock music became a powerful solvent of the state's credibility and power to inspire loyalty.’
      • ‘Thus free markets are the great solvent of prejudice.’
      • ‘It ensures individual autonomy of a sort, but also acts as a major solvent of local Aboriginal authority structures.’


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