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.)).
solvent sol·vent (sŏl'vənt)adj. Capable of dissolving another substance. n.
A substance in which another substance is dissolved, forming a solution.
A substance capable of dissolving another substance.