1. Melt, dissolve, fuse, thaw imply reducing a solid substance to a liquid state. To melt is to bring a solid to a liquid condition by the agency of heat: to melt butter. Dissolve, though sometimes used interchangeably with melt, applies to a different process, depending upon the fact that certain solids, placed in certain liquids, distribute their particles throughout the liquids: A greater number of solids can be dissolved in water and in alcohol than in any other liquids. To fuse is to subject a solid (usually a metal) to a very high temperature; it applies especially to melting or blending metals together: Bell metal is made by fusing copper and tin. To thaw is to restore a frozen substance to its normal (liquid, semiliquid, or more soft and pliable) state by raising its temperature above the freezing point: Sunshine will thaw ice in a lake. 4. dwindle. 10. gentle, mollify, relax.