Meaning of SOLVENT in English

I. ˈsälvənt, ˈsȯl- adjective

Etymology: Latin solvent-, solvens, present participle of solvere to pay, dissolve

1. : able or sufficient to pay all legal debts

a solvent merchant

the estate is solvent

2. : that dissolves or can dissolve : producing a solution or homogeneous mixture

solvent fluids

the solvent action of water

solvent social influences

• sol·vent·ly adverb

II. noun

( -s )

1. : a substance capable of or used in dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances ; especially : a liquid component of a solution present in greater amount than the solute : menstruum 1

water is a good solvent for many salts, alcohol for many resins, and ether for fats

the best solvent for a material is usually related to it in chemical structure — P.O.Powers

— compare plasticizer , thinner

2. : something that provides a solution (as for a problem)

no solvent has been found for the industrial stagnation

3. : something that dissipates, disintegrates, or otherwise eliminates or attenuates something and especially something unwanted

ridicule is a solvent of prejudice

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.