solve

To solve something is to find a solution, like figuring out the answer to a complex riddle.

The verb solve is often used in mathematics, and it means to answer a math problem. You can solve other, non-mathematical problems too — like the question of what to wear when you've run out of clean clothes (your sibling's clothes!). The word solve originally came from the Latin solvere, which meant "to loosen or untie." If you think of any kind of complex problem as a knot, then the original definition of solve still makes sense!

Definitions of solve
1

v find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of

“did you solve the problem?”
Synonyms:
figure out, lick, puzzle out, work, work out
Types:
show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
answer, resolve
understand the meaning of
riddle
explain a riddle
strike
arrive at after reckoning, deliberating, and weighing
guess, infer
guess correctly; solve by guessing
answer
give the correct answer or solution to
break
find the solution or key to
tell
discern or comprehend
Type of:
understand
know and comprehend the nature or meaning of

v find the solution

solve an equation”
solve for x”
Synonyms:
resolve
Types:
factorise, factorize
resolve (a polynomial) into factors
Type of:
calculate, cipher, compute, cypher, figure, reckon, work out
make a mathematical calculation or computation

v settle, as of a debt

solve an old debt”
Synonyms:
clear
Type of:
determine, settle, square off, square up
settle conclusively; come to terms

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.