9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 solvents
  • Between them, the three departments have hundreds of sites rendered toxic by degreasing solvents.
  • They arrange for extraction and recycling of reusable portions of hazardous wastes, such as solvents and metals.
  • Free of chemical detergents and solvents, eco-friendly carpet cleaners are gentler on your hands and safer for the human body.
  • It breaks down the gunk on oven surfaces, neutralizing some fatty acids and turning others into grease-cutting solvents.
  • The compounds are used in many solvents and also could be used as an additive to make gasoline burn more efficiently.
  • Since the days of yore, chemists have made new molecules by mixing chemicals together in liquid solvents.
  • Place metal solvents and graphite in ceramic growth chamber.
  • After much debate, the picture was gently cleaned without solvents and put back on display.
  • Miscarriages are linked to two solvents used on microchips.
  • Underneath a neighborhood in the southeastern part of town lies a groundwater plume contaminated with chlorinated solvents.
British Dictionary definitions for solvents


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 solvents



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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solvents 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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solvents 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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