Solvent’s meaning changes pretty drastically depending on its part of speech. As a noun, solvent is either a certain kind of chemical or an idea that solves a problem. As an adjective, solvent describes someone who's got cash on hand.

A solvent dissolves other chemicals, which is why it's also easy to remember: solvent is a chemical used to dissolve other chemicals. The adjective solvent, on the other hand, comes from a French verb that means "loosen." In these tough economic times, only those banks that are solvent are in a position to loosen the cash flow and start lending money. No cash? You're not solvent.

Primary Meanings of solvent

capable of meeting financial obligations
a liquid substance capable of dissolving other substances
a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem
Full Definitions of solvent

adj capable of meeting financial obligations

unable to meet or discharge financial obligations
bankrupt, belly-up
financially ruined
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n a liquid substance capable of dissolving other substances

“the solvent does not change its state in forming a solution”
dissolvent, dissolver, dissolving agent, resolvent
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acetone, dimethyl ketone, propanone
the simplest ketone; a highly inflammable liquid widely used as an organic solvent and as material for making plastics
a colorless volatile flammable liquid with an almond odor that is made from chlorine and benzene; used as a solvent and in the production of phenol and DDT and other organic compounds
carbolic acid, hydroxybenzene, oxybenzene, phenol, phenylic acid
a toxic white soluble crystalline acidic derivative of benzene; used in manufacturing and as a disinfectant and antiseptic; poisonous if taken internally
carbon tet, carbon tetrachloride, perchloromethane, tetrachloromethane
a colorless nonflammable liquid used as a solvent for fats and oils; because of its toxicity its use as a cleaning fluid or fire extinguisher has declined
a colorless flammable liquid alkane derived from petroleum and used as a solvent
(archaic) a solvent
any of various volatile flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixtures; used chiefly as solvents
a solvent that removes a substance (usually from a surface)
alcahest, alkahest, universal solvent
hypothetical universal solvent once sought by alchemists
methylbenzene, toluene
a colorless flammable liquid obtained from petroleum or coal tar; used as a solvent for gums and lacquers and in high-octane fuels
xylene, xylol
a colorless flammable volatile liquid hydrocarbon used as a solvent
Type of:
an intervening substance through which something is achieved

n a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem

answer, resolution, result, solution
the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work
Type of:
a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc

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