Etymology: Middle English, from Latin resolvere to unloose, dissolve, from re- + solvere to loosen, release — more at solve
Date: 14th century
1. obsolete dissolve, melt
a. break up, separate <the prism resolved the light into a play of color>; also to change by disintegration b. to reduce by analysis <resolve the problem into simple elements> c. to distinguish between or make independently visible adjacent parts of d. to separate (a racemic compound or mixture) into the two components 3. to cause resolution of (a pathological state) 4. a. to deal with successfully ; clear up <resolve doubts> <resolve a dispute> b. to find an answer to c. to make clear or understandable d. to find a mathematical solution of e. to split up (as a vector) into two or more components especially in assigned directions 5. to reach a firm decision about <resolve to get more sleep> <resolve disputed points in a text> 6. a. to declare or decide by a formal resolution and vote b. to change by resolution or formal vote <the house resolved itself into a committee> 7. to make (as voice parts) progress from dissonance to consonance 8. to work out the resolution of (as a play) intransitive verb 1. to become separated into component parts; also to become reduced by dissolving or analysis 2. to form a resolution ; determine 3. consult, deliberate 4. to progress from dissonance to consonance Synonyms: see decide • resolvable adjective • resolver noun II. noun Date: 1591 1. fixity of purpose ; resoluteness 2. something that is resolved 3. a legal or official determination; especially a formal resolution
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.