From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishsolvesolve /sɒlv $ sɑːlv/ ●●● S2 W3 verb [transitive] 1 SOLVE/DEAL WITH A PROBLEMto find or provide a way of dealing with a problem → solution Charlie thinks money will solve all his problems. the best way of solving our dilemma2 SOLVE/FIND THE ANSWERANSWER/RESULTto find the correct answer to a problem or the explanation for something that is difficult to understand → solutionsolve a crime/mystery/case etc More than 70% of murder cases were solved last year. attempts to solve a mathematical equationsolve a puzzle/riddle —solvable adjectiveCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: to find or provide a way of dealing with a problemnounssolve a problemHe solved the problem by moving the aggressive fish to a separate tank.solve a crisisCongress had not been able to solve the financial crisis.solve a dispute/conflictThey have agreed to solve their disputes solely by peaceful means.solve a dilemmaCan you solve my dilemma?solve somebody's difficultiesYou can't solve your difficulties by running away.solve a questionDid they really think the Jerusalem question would be solved in a week?COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: to find the correct answer to a problem or the explanation for something that is difficult to understandnounssolve a crime/caseThe crime was never solved.solve a murderPolice have called for witnesses to help them solve the murder.solve a mysteryStaff at the library think they have solved the mystery.solve a puzzleYou progress through the game by solving puzzles.solve a riddleThey still haven't really solved the riddle of how the pyramids were built.solve an equationAt the age of six, he could solve complicated mathematical equations. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpussolve• You chaps usually bring as much trouble with you as you solve.• They thought money would solve all their problems.• The role of the press is to sell newspapers, not to solve crime.• Casey is very good at solving crossword puzzles.• Simply making drugs legal will not solve our nation's drug problem.• These games encourage children's ability to solve puzzles using their mathematical skills.• There is now considerable interest in the assessment of processes, problem solving strategies, and creativity in mathematics.• Well, that solves that problem, she thinks to herself.• The government is to launch a new building programme in an attempt to solve the housing crisis.• Detectives are trying to solve the murder of a young girl.• Officials hope the Navy will solve the mystery of four bombs that are missing from the wreckage of a military jet.• At last astronomers have solved the mystery of the rings encircling the planet Saturn.• The roof used to leak but last week I fitted some new tiles and that seems to have solved the problem.• The second world war had solved the problems of the 1930s depression.• According to Greek legend, it was Oedipus who solved the riddle of the Sphinx.• There were a number of problems to be faced, but one by one he managed to solve them.• To solve these problems takes vision as well.• I'm never going to solve this puzzle - it's impossible.• In reality that would only increase white racism and try to solve with money a problem that can not be bribed away.solve a puzzle/riddle• Yet we have been programmed to be curious, to question, to probe and to seek to solve riddles.• Players search for the princess by uncovering clues, solving puzzles and navigating a medieval maze.• A failure to solve a puzzle is seen as a failure of the scientist rather than as an inadequacy of the paradigm.• Can you solve puzzles while under attack from Zombis?