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[sol-vuh nt] /ˈsɒl vənt/
able to pay all just debts.
having the power of dissolving; causing solution.
a substance that dissolves another to form a solution:
Water is a solvent for sugar.
something that solves or explains.
Origin of solvent
1620-30; < Latin solvent- (stem of solvēns), present participle of solvere to loosen. See solve, -ent
Related forms
solventless, adjective
solvently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for solvent
  • The idea that keeping a particular individual's firm solvent should be in the national interest may sound odd.
  • In this day and age, a simple solvent will suffice to turn homely vegetation into a source of precious metals.
  • Employment is what brings in the money, and you rightly note that this is not a way to riches let alone being solvent.
  • It might be from accidentally inhaling too much of this solvent, which is sometimes added to fake snow.
  • Residues of the solvent are removed from the coffee to trace levels by steaming the beans.
  • Polymers can fulfill a wide variety of functions thanks to properties such as high strength, solvent resistance and insulation.
  • In nonhuman primates, reversibility has been achieved by dissolving the polymer with an injected solvent.
  • Water is crucial as the universal solvent of biochemistry.
  • It is used primarily for purifying gases by adsorption, solvent recovery, or deodorization and as an antidote to certain poisons.
  • Ctrl-z is the new solvent, and pixels the new luminous colours.
British Dictionary definitions for solvent


capable of meeting financial obligations
(of a substance, esp a liquid) capable of dissolving another substance
a liquid capable of dissolving another substance: water is a solvent for salt
the component of a solution that does not change its state in forming the solution or the component that is present in excess Compare solute
something that solves
Derived Forms
solvently, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin solvēns releasing, from solvere to free, solve
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
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Word Origin and History for solvent

1650s, "able to pay all one owes," from French solvent, from Latin solventem (nominative solvens), present participle of solvere "loosen, dissolve" (see solve).


"substance able to dissolve other substances," 1670s, from Latin solventem (see solvent (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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solvent in Medicine

solvent sol·vent (sŏl'vənt)
Capable of dissolving another substance. n.

  1. A substance in which another substance is dissolved, forming a solution.

  2. A substance capable of dissolving another substance.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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solvent in Science
A substance that can dissolve another substance, or in which another substance is dissolved, forming a solution. Water is the most common solvent.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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