Quick Summary

The Latin root words solv and its variant solut both mean “loosen.” These Latin roots are the word origin of a fair number of English vocabulary words, including dissolve, solvent, absolute, and resolution. The Latin root solv is easily recalled through the word solve, or the “loosening” or untying of a complex problem, whereas the word solution is that which has “loosened” or untied the knot of the problem.

Solved by A Root Solution

The Latin roots solv and its variant solut both mean “loosen.” Let’s absolutely resolve these roots right now in a resolute fashion!

Let’s begin with the root solv, which means “loosen.” A problem or puzzle can be thought of as a knot. When you solve a problem, you “loosen” or untie that knot. When you show resolve in doing so, you are determined to “loosen” that knot no matter what. Once you resolve or set the task to “loosen” the puzzle, you can absolve or “loosen” yourself from this responsibility by using willpower to complete it.

Chemistry labs often consist of dissolving different molecules. For instance, when you put sugar or salt into water, the molecules of these substances are said to dissolve, the bonds between their atoms becoming “loosened” or destroyed, causing them to disappear. A solvent, such as water, is that medium which “loosens” or unties those molecular bonds, hence bringing about the process of dissolving. A universal solvent is said to be something which can dissolve anything at all, but that of course is silly because then it would dissolve itself!

Having solved solv, let’s move on to its variant solut, which also means “loosen.” Sticking for a moment more with chemistry, when you find a solution to a chemistry problem, you have “loosened” or untied it. If you have solved the problem absolutely, then you have been “loosened” from all error, and thus were completely correct!

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, or those promises which we are determined to keep, thereby having “loosened” ourselves from anything which might keep us from accomplishing them. For instance, you might make a resolution not to eat sugar. You would have to be entirely resolute to do that, having been “loosened” from anything that might get in your way of not doing so. Most of us, over time, become irresolute, no longer being “loosened” from all things that keep us from what we said we were going to do, and thus become tied to eating sugar once more.

I hope that we have now solved any major dilemmas with this verbal solution to learning that the roots solv and solut mean “loosen.” An untied knot can be a great thing!

  1. solve: to ‘loosen’ a problem
  2. resolve: a determined ‘loosening’ back from all hindrances to do something
  3. resolve: to ‘loosen’ in a determined fashion
  4. absolve: to ‘loosen’ away from being responsible for something
  5. dissolve: ‘loosen’ or untie a bond
  6. solvent: substance which ‘loosens’ chemical bonds
  7. solution: a ‘loosening’ of a problem
  8. absolute: of being entirely ‘loosened’ away from all blockages to something
  9. resolute: of being ‘loosened’ back from all hindrances to accomplishing something
  10. resolution: the condition of being ‘loosened’ back from all hindrances to doing something
  11. irresolute: of not being ‘loosened’ back from all hindrances to doing something


  • solvency

    If an organization is in a state of solvency, it has enough money to pay its bills and other debts.

  • absolve

    When you absolve someone, you publicly and formally say that they are not guilty or responsible for any wrongdoing.

  • resolve

    When you resolve a problem, you solve it or come to a decision about it.

  • solve

    To solve a problem is to figure it out by finding an answer to it.

  • dissolve

    become weaker

  • insolvency

    the lack of financial resources

  • insolvent

    unable to meet or discharge financial obligations

  • irresolvable

    Incapable of being resolved; not separable into component parts.

  • resolvable

    capable of being solved

  • resolved


  • solvable

    capable of being solved

  • solvent

    capable of meeting financial obligations

  • unsolvable

    not easily solved

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