# solve

[solv]

- to find the answer or explanation for; clear up; explain: to solve the mystery of the missing books.
- to work out the answer or solution to (a mathematical problem).

## Origin of solve^{}

1400–50; late Middle English solven < Latin solvere to loosen, free, release, dissolve

## Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com1. resolve, unravel, untangle, crack.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

## Examples from the Web for solve

### Contemporary Examples

#### This is the first study of its kind in Turkey and raises the possibility that a private solution could solve a public problem.

#### To solve the problem, we need to study a lot more comets and meteorites.

#### Is there anyone who thinks the urgent problem we need to solve in Washington, D.C. is how to allow more spending on campaigns?

#### “I doubt you can solve range and the need for a large magazine with the same missile,” he said.

#### Why are you trying to solve a cultural problem with a political solution?

### Historical Examples

#### When you solve a sum you go from "a" to "b" and from "b" to "c" and from "c" to "d" and so on.

Ancient ManHendrik Willem van Loon

#### But this does not astonish us when we understand the difficulties which he was obliged to solve.

Ancient ManHendrik Willem van Loon

#### To solve their problem the engineers borrowed an idea from the Sumerians.

Ancient ManHendrik Willem van Loon

#### He was trying to solve his problem and Tillie's, and what he had found was no solution, but a compromise.

KMary Roberts Rinehart

#### I asked, astonished at Jim's behavior, and anxious for some clew by which to solve its mystery.

The UnderdogF. Hopkinson Smith

# solve

- to find the explanation for or solution to (a mystery, problem, etc)
- maths
- to work out the answer to (a problem)
- to obtain the roots of (an equation)

## Word Origin

C15: from Latin solvere to loosen, release, free from debt

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

## Word Origin and History for solve

### v.

late 14c., "to disperse, dissipate, loosen," from Latin solvere "to loosen, dissolve; untie, release, detach; depart; unlock; scatter; dismiss; accomplish, fulfill; explain; remove," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart" (see lose). The meaning "explain, answer" is attested from 1530s; for sense evolution, see solution. Mathematical use is attested from 1737. Related: Solved; solving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper