• (RP) IPA: /sɒlv/
  • (GA) IPA: /sɑlv/, /sɔlv/

solve (solves, present participle solving; past and past participle solved)

  1. To find an answer or solution to a problem or question; to work out.
    • True piety would effectually solve such scruples.
    • God shall solve the dark decrees of fate.
  2. (mathematics) To find the values of variables that satisfy a system of equations and/or inequalities.
  3. (mathematics) To algebraically manipulate an equation or inequality into a form that isolates a chosen variable on one side, so that the other side consists of an expression that may be used to generate solutions.
  4. (transitive) To loosen or separate the parts of.
Translations Noun

solve (plural solves)

  1. (now, rare, chiefly, law enforcement) A solution; an explanation.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 69”, in Shake-speares Sonnets. Neuer before Imprinted, London: By G[eorge] Eld for T[homas] T[horpe] and are to be sold by William Aspley, OCLC 216596634 ↗:
      The solve is this, that thou dost common grow.
    • 2014 February 4, The Party, Gil Ozeri and Gabe Liedman (writers), Michael Engler (director), Brooklyn Nine-Nine, season 1, episode 16:
      KEVIN: I decided a long time ago that just because I love Raymond, doesn't mean I have to love the people he works with. Good solve, Detective.
    • 2017, Elodia Strain, The Dating Experiment (ISBN 1462127290):
      “Hey, Mr. Quilt Bandit.”
      Ian smiled. “Nice solve, Nancy Drew.”

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