To resolve is to settle or make a decision about something — often formal. A college's board of directors might resolve to recruit more minority students. As a noun, resolve refers to a strong determination to do something.

If you make a New Year's resolution to exercise every day, you'll need plenty of resolve to stick with your program. The verb descends from Middle English resolven "to dissolve," from Latin resolvere "to untie." In English, the obsolete sense of "to dissolve" can be seen in this line from Shakespeare: "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew."

Definitions of resolve
  1. verb
    find the solution
    synonyms: solve
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    factorise, factorize
    resolve (a polynomial) into factors
    type of:
    calculate, cipher, compute, cypher, figure, reckon, work out
    make a mathematical calculation or computation
  2. verb
    reach a decision
    “he resolved never to drink again”
    synonyms: purpose
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    type of:
    decide, determine, make up one's mind
    reach, make, or come to a decision about something
  3. verb
    reach a conclusion after a discussion or deliberation
    synonyms: conclude
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    determine, settle, square off, square up
    settle conclusively; come to terms
    clear, solve
    settle, as of a debt
    settle by agreement
    settle conclusively
    settle by concession
    type of:
    agree, concord, concur, hold
    be in accord; be in agreement
  4. verb
    bring to an end; settle conclusively
    synonyms: adjudicate, decide, dispose, settle
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    determine the result of (a competition)
    decide how much is to be paid on an insurance claim
    referee, umpire
    be a referee or umpire in a sports competition
    type of:
    end, terminate
    bring to an end or halt
  5. verb
    cause to go into a solution
    synonyms: break up, dissolve
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    melt, melt down, run
    reduce or cause to be reduced from a solid to a liquid state, usually by heating
    dissolve by breaking down the fat of
    make liquid or plastic by heating
    render, try
    melt (fat or lard) in order to separate out impurities
    type of:
    change integrity
    change in physical make-up
  6. noun
    the trait of being resolute
    synonyms: firmness, firmness of purpose, resoluteness, resolution
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    irresoluteness, irresolution
    the trait of being irresolute; lacking firmness of purpose
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    possession, self-command, self-control, self-possession, self-will, will power, willpower
    the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior
    freedom from wavering or indecision; constancy of resolve or conduct
    resoluteness evidenced by strength of character
    firm resoluteness in purpose or opinion or action
    bullheadedness, obstinacy, obstinance, pigheadedness, self-will, stubbornness
    resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires
    characterized by one unified purpose
    adamance, obduracy, unyieldingness
    resoluteness by virtue of being unyielding and inflexible
    decision, decisiveness
    the trait of resoluteness as evidenced by firmness of character or purpose
    determination, purpose
    the quality of being determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
    steadfast resolution
    control of your emotions
    presence of mind
    self-control in a crisis; ability to say or do the right thing in an emergency
    impenitence, impenitency
    the trait of refusing to repent
    intransigence, intransigency
    the trait of being intransigent; stubbornly refusing to compromise
    doggedness, perseverance, persistence, persistency, pertinacity, tenaciousness, tenacity
    persistent determination
    indefatigability, indefatigableness, tirelessness
    tireless determination
    diligence, industriousness, industry
    persevering determination to perform a task
    type of:
    a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
  7. noun
    a formal expression by a meeting; agreed to by a vote
    synonyms: declaration, resolution
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    Declaration of Independence
    the document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the Colonies from Great Britain
    joint resolution
    a resolution passed by both houses of Congress which becomes legally binding when signed by the Chief Executive (or passed over the Chief Executive's veto)
    type of:
    document, papers, written document
    writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)
  8. verb
    make clearly visible
    “can this image be resolved?”
  9. verb
    understand the meaning of
    synonyms: answer
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    type of:
    figure out, lick, puzzle out, solve, work, work out
    find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
Word Family

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