Know how to use "fewer" and "less"? Find out.


[sol-vol-uh-sis] /sɒlˈvɒl ə sɪs/
noun, Chemistry
a chemical reaction in which the solvent and solute interact; lyolysis.
1920-25; < New Latin; see solve, -o-, -lysis
Related forms
[sol-vuh-lit-ik] /ˌsɒl vəˈlɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for solvolysis
  • The direct liquefaction of wood through a solvolysis process is studied.
  • Model compound studies confirmed that dominant depolymerization route is the solvolysis of ether linkages.
British Dictionary definitions for solvolysis


a chemical reaction occurring between a dissolved substance and its solvent See also hydrolysis
Word Origin
from solv(ent) + -lysis
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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for solvolysis

a chemical reaction in which the solvent, such as water or alcohol, is one of the reagents and is present in great excess of that required for the reaction. Solvolytic reactions are usually substitution reactions-i.e., reactions in which an atom or a group of atoms in a molecule is replaced by another atom or group of atoms. The solvents act as or produce electron-rich atoms or groups of atoms (nucleophiles) that displace an atom or group in the substrate molecule. At high temperatures or in the presence of strong bases, some solvents act as eliminating agents, producing alkenes from alkyl halides. It is common practice to name solvolysis reactions after the specific solvent, such as "hydrolysis" when water is the reagent.

Learn more about solvolysis with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for solvolysis

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for solvolysis

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for solvolysis