Meaning of resolve in English:


Pronunciation /rɪˈzɒlv/

See synonyms for resolve

Translate resolve into Spanish


  • 1with object Settle or find a solution to (a problem or contentious matter)

    ‘the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days’
    • ‘Sometimes, the most vexed problems are resolved through simple solutions.’
    • ‘It is a big concern but we are working very hard on a solution to try and resolve the matter before it goes to court.’
    • ‘Through that approach, persons with a dispute in the civil court are given the opportunity to resolve the matter with solutions that they devise.’
    • ‘If they fail to resolve the matter within 14 days they get a red card.’
    • ‘Police discussions have still not resolved the matter of who will pay the massive costs.’
    • ‘And I think everyone needs to come together to figure out how to resolve this problem.’
    • ‘She said when the problem was identified, they immediately reverted to the original configuration which resolved the problem within an hour.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, these heated discussions did not resolve the matter to anyone's satisfaction.’
    • ‘There are also plans to establish a temporary cabin in the Market Place area staffed every day to answer queries and resolve problems.’
    • ‘To resolve problems concerning a water treatment unit, first try settling your dispute with the company that sold you the product.’
    • ‘Following the action, the education secretary promised to resolve the problem within two weeks.’
    • ‘In that case, with the promises made on curbing anti-social behaviour it should only be a matter of a short time before these problems are resolved.’
    • ‘There was no reply within that time and the matter was resolved by a letter dated June 25.’
    • ‘Surely, the right way to resolve these matters is through proper discussion between all the parties involved, and not to try and heap all blame onto one individual in public.’
    • ‘The service aims to give customers the knowledge, tools and confidence to resolve consumer problems themselves.’
    • ‘Merely locating the car parking area next to the substation will not resolve the problem.’
    • ‘Since I was not naming one person, it was clear I had not resolved the matter.’
    • ‘Because we take all such matters very seriously, we immediately resolved the problem, and do not expect it to be an issue going forward.’
    • ‘The same cast of mind also tended to seek simple, universal formulae to resolve any problem, no matter how complex.’
    • ‘She could only talk to a salesman, who gave her another number to call - the local delivery firm - before her problem was resolved.’
    settle, sort out, solve, find a solution to, find an answer to, fix, work out, straighten out, deal with, put right, set right, put to rights, rectify, iron out, reconcile
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Medicine with object Cause (a symptom or condition) to heal or subside.
      ‘endoscopic biliary drainage can rapidly resolve jaundice’
      • ‘Giving capsules to children to resolve dietary deficiencies tells their families the problem is beyond their control.’
      • ‘The first priority of the dentist is to alleviate pain and resolve infection.’
      • ‘The patient was treated and the infection was resolved.’
      • ‘Both conditions were resolved without recourse to systemic corticosteroid.’
      • ‘A good portion of antibiotic use appears to be for viral or spontaneously resolving bacterial infections.’
    2. 1.2no object (of a symptom or condition) heal or subside.
      ‘symptoms resolved after a median of four weeks’
      • ‘Fever may resolve before respiratory symptoms appear.’
      • ‘This condition may resolve without symptoms, or it may affect a variety of organs, depending on the patient.’
      • ‘His hypertension and diabetes have resolved and his arthralgia has improved.’
      • ‘Patients also kept symptom diaries until the condition resolved.’
      • ‘His respiratory symptoms never fully resolved, and he continued to have a wet-sounding cough and nasal symptoms.’
    3. 1.3Music (with reference to a discord) pass or cause to pass into a concord during the course of harmonic change.
      no object ‘dissonant notes resolve conventionally by rising or falling to form part of a new chord’
      • ‘you would not want to resolve a melodic line on to the minor sixth interval’
      • ‘Thus Skalkottas, although continuing the motivic development, follows the essential principle of traditional sonata form and resolves the previous harmonic tensions.’
      • ‘Dissonant notes resolve in a conventional way, only to become part of an unexpected chord.’
      • ‘Generally speaking, notes resolve in the direction of their inflection: upward- inflected notes resolve up, and downward-inflected notes resolve down.’
  • 2no object Decide firmly on a course of action.

    with infinitive ‘she resolved to ring Dana as soon as she got home’
    • ‘However, when he finally resolved on retreat a bizarre series of accidents enabled the Spaniards to occupy Bailén and cut off Dupont and a large portion of his army.’
    • ‘And it was for that reason, because of all that fear, and want, and confusion, that I had eventually resolved on asking him to be friends.’
    • ‘How can anger, or any other emotion or feeling, get someone to go against what they have deliberately resolved on doing?’
    • ‘I don't really think that Tom is suicidal, but I am concerned that he may have resolved on some form of action without thinking through all the consequences.’
    • ‘I immediately harvested all that were left, and resolved even more firmly that I'd demand a greater percentage at our next interspecies conference.’
    • ‘Of course, I resolved to eat there as soon as possible.’
    • ‘The same board meeting also resolved on the appointment of a new manager.’
    • ‘Seeing him, but firmly resolving not to speak to him, hurt more than he'd expected.’
    • ‘In the mean time, I resolved to let him decide what we should do together, and go along with it unless I thought it would have a negative impact on him somehow.’
    • ‘Someday, I resolved firmly, I would make him do something about that ponytail.’
    • ‘I resolved firmly that I would mull all this over later, and that today would not be a complete loss.’
    • ‘With this firmly resolved in her mind, she slipped from the manor proper and into the courtyard.’
    • ‘Having resolved to follow this course of action I contacted both England and Russia and formed an alliance to the detriment of Germany.’
    • ‘I refused to answer it and resolved to let it ring.’
    • ‘John's life has been cloaked in the shadow of this tragedy ever since and he resolves to save his father and alter the course of his own personal history.’
    determine, decide, make up one's mind, take a decision, reach a decision, conclude, come to the conclusion
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1with clause (of a legislative body or other formal meeting) make a decision by a formal vote.
      ‘the executive resolved that a strike would be detrimental to all concerned’
      • ‘the conference resolved to support an alliance’
      • ‘The meeting resolved that teachers had no choice but to resign in protest over the government's ‘negligence’.’
      • ‘She said the meeting resolved that a joint committee should be established to find out why the service providers did not comply with the agreement.’
      • ‘The decision was arrived at after a committee meeting which resolved that missing training is a sign of indiscipline in the sport.’
      • ‘After a heated debate, the meeting resolved to form a committee to consolidate and investigate the origins of the lists.’
      • ‘The meeting also resolved that there was need for prudent investment policies if the region was to develop economically.’
      vote, pass a resolution, rule, move, decide formally, agree, undertake
      View synonyms
  • 3Chemistry
    Separate or cause to be separated into constituent parts or components.

    with object ‘alpha-zein is often resolved into two major size components’
    • ‘the Labyrinth's design resolves into a number of distinct functional areas’
    • ‘For example, in relaxed myofibrils, it was unclear whether each Tmod striation could be unambiguously resolved into separate thin filament profiles.’
    • ‘Epstein et al. described sulphate uptake which was resolved into a saturable high-affinity phase and a non-saturable low-affinity phase.’
    • ‘Malalignment can be resolved into two components.’
    break down, break up, separate, reduce, decompose, divide
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1resolve something intowith object Reduce a subject, statement, etc. by mental analysis into (separate elements or a more elementary form)
      ‘the ability to resolve facts into their legal categories’
      • ‘Edwards first argues that the idea of a body can be resolved into ideas of color and resistance.’
      • ‘Because in proceeding thus we are only collecting by historical methodology the definitions at hand and resolving them into a general formula.’
      • ‘O'Brien aims for nothing less than resolving this dialectic into an integrated whole, often by means of a metafictional discourse in which his characters and narrators engage in the dialectic themselves.’
      • ‘Somehow he resolved these complexities into a single coherent being, and yet was secure enough to have no need to dominate; his willingness to fit into an ensemble of another new generation of actors was estimable.’
      analyse, dissect, break down, anatomize
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2Physics with object Analyse (a force or velocity) into components acting in particular directions.
      ‘Harriot resolved the forces acting on the projectile into horizontal and vertical components.’
      • ‘Therefore each velocity vector is resolved in a component u in the x-direction and a component v in the y-direction.’
      • ‘These water movements and, therefore, the resulting forces can be resolved at each point into vertical and horizontal components.’
      • ‘In general, ripples could only be resolved when the force was at an absolute minimum.’
  • 4no object (of something seen at a distance) turn into a different form when seen more clearly.

    ‘the orange light resolved itself into four roadwork lanterns’
    • ‘The form resolved itself in Cath's recovering eyes, and it became David.’
    • ‘A silhouette resolved itself as he squinted into the afternoon sun.’
    • ‘The third shadow had not yet resolved itself, but I knew who it was.’
    • ‘He was stopped by a blur from nowhere that resolved itself into Yogu.’
    • ‘The bluish region had now resolved itself into what appeared to be a tunnel, vanishing to infinity in the distance.’
    • ‘The shadow moved forwards again, and resolved itself into a petite girl.’
    • ‘Poetically, the tapestry resolved itself as his eye grated into the lens.’
    • ‘It grew in intensity, and resolved itself into a streak of fire descending to the planet's surface.’
    • ‘The world around her resolved itself into sharp focus, and the rainbows faded away from her eyes.’
    • ‘She flinched away from a flare of white light, which slowly resolved itself into her bedroom.’
    • ‘Before them was a hint of glimmer that slowly resolved itself into a stripe of blue: the sea.’
    • ‘The mass of white resolved itself into a human form that Williams recognized as a woman.’
    • ‘A faint glow at the far end resolved itself into the lights of two lanterns.’
    • ‘The deep blue silhouette resolved itself into metallic greys as they got closer.’
    • ‘The spidery script up its side resolved itself in just a moment to form a word.’
    turn into, be transformed into, become clearly visible as, change into, metamorphose into, be transmuted into
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1with object (of optical or photographic equipment) separate or distinguish between (closely adjacent objects)
      ‘Hubble was able to resolve six variable stars in M31’
      • ‘If they are separated by more than two millimeters (one-twelfth of an inch) then the telescope can resolve them as being separate, at least in principle.’
      • ‘These were visual binaries - stars that could be resolved by eye using a good instrument.’
      • ‘With the aid of his telescope, Galileo could resolve thousands of new stars which were invisible to the naked eye.’
      • ‘For the first time, he was able to resolve individual stars in the Andromeda Galaxy.’
      • ‘A feeble star nearby looks the same as a very bright star far away, since stars, in general, cannot be resolved even by the most powerful telescopes.’
    2. 4.2with object Separately distinguish (peaks in a graph or spectrum).
      ‘For the detector to resolve two peaks, one pixel between the two peaks must receive a lower signal than its neighbors.’
      • ‘However, the longer acquisition time is compensated by the information that can be extracted from the spatially resolved spectra.’
      • ‘This method was used to resolve the monoanion spectra in a range of solvent-water mixtures.’
      • ‘Their photobleaching behavior was studied using spectrally resolved emission spectroscopy.’
      • ‘These methods give rise to well resolved spectra of the protein but do not provide information about noncovalent lipid binding interactions.’


  • 1mass noun Firm determination to do something.

    ‘she received information that strengthened her resolve’
    • ‘Having taken our decision, this country will now pursue our aims with firm resolve and with determination.’
    • ‘This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve.’
    • ‘Very few of us have that firm resolve in ourselves to do what we are really passionate about.’
    • ‘And we fulfill our new role with a steely inner resolve regardless of what others may think.’
    • ‘I'm not sure whether my resolve is strengthened or destroyed by this.’
    • ‘We showed our cast iron resolve in this matter.’
    • ‘Leaders demonstrate unwavering resolve and set high standards for building great organizations, settling for nothing less.’
    • ‘But this side showed great resolve and conviction and by the interval had drawn level.’
    • ‘Instead of brushing up on their excuses, they should try stiffening their resolve.’
    • ‘And strikes can backfire: lack of public support can stiffen government resolve.’
    • ‘He won the first two frames and lost the third, which hardened his resolve.’
    • ‘There is no haste but only a firm resolve to complete the work in time.’
    • ‘Firm resolve showed in the set of his jaw as he picked her up gently.’
    • ‘Joe's resolve crumbled further as he nearly shook with rage.’
    • ‘Though outwardly he was composed, inwardly his resolve wavered.’
    • ‘Now I knew: She'd become a woman of iron resolve.’
    • ‘His steadfastness and resolve in the face of his critics are deserving of praise.’
    • ‘Her resolve instantly melting, Beth smiled at him and pulled out a chair.’
    • ‘I could feel my knees buckling and my resolve melting.’
    • ‘My resolve hardened and in one smooth motion I pushed open the door.’
    determination, resolution, firmness of purpose, fixity of purpose, purpose, purposefulness, resoluteness, single-mindedness, strength of will, strength of character, will power, firmness, intentness, decision, decidedness
    decision, resolution, commitment, intention
    View synonyms
  • 2US A formal resolution by a legislative body or public meeting.

    ‘A resolution does not carry any force of law; it expresses the resolve of a legislative body by drawing attention and awareness to an important subject.’
    • ‘The successful outcome of this dispute will also serve as a warning to management who doubted the resolve of union members.’
    • ‘Meanwhile the resolve of some 18,000 engineers and technical workers to continue walking the picket lines remains strong.’
    • ‘We saw that the NATO members added their resolve to the resolve of the United States.’


Late Middle English (in the senses ‘dissolve, disintegrate’ and ‘solve (a problem)’): from Latin resolvere, from re- (expressing intensive force) + solvere ‘loosen’.