Etymology
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dissolve (v.)

late 14c. dissolven, "to break up, disunite, separate into parts" (transitive, of material substances), also "to liquefy by the disintegrating action of a fluid," also intransitive, "become fluid, be converted from a solid to a liquid state," from Latin dissolvere "to loosen up, break apart," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + solvere "to loosen, untie," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart."

General sense of "to melt, liquefy by means of heat or moisture" is from late 14c. Meaning "to disband" (a parliament or an assembly) is attested from early 15c. Related: Dissolved; dissolving.

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lysol (n.)

brown oily coal-tar solution used as a disinfectant, 1890, coined, perhaps in German, from Greek lysis "dissolution, dissolving" (from lyein "to unfasten, loose, loosen, untie," from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart") + -ol, element indicating "oil."

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electrolysis (n.)

"decomposition into constituent parts by an electric current," 1834; the name was introduced by Faraday on the suggestion of the Rev. William Whewell, English polymath, from electro- + Greek lysis "a loosening," from lyein "to loosen, set free" (from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart"). Originally of tumors, later (1879) of hair removal. Related: electrolytic.

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lysergic (adj.)

in reference to a crystalline organic compound, 1934, from the -lys- in hydrolysis (thus from Greek lysis "a loosening, a dissolution," from lyein "to loosen, dissolve;" from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart") + the first syllable of ergot (a fungus from which the chemical was first obtained) + -ic.

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solvent (adj.)

1650s, "able to pay all one owes," from French solvent, from Latin solventem (nominative solvens), present participle of solvere "to loosen, release, accomplish, fulfill," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart."

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palsy (n.)

c. 1300, palesie, "weakness, numbness, paralysis, loss of ability to speak, failure of a part of the body to function properly," from Anglo-French parlesie, Old French paralisie, from Vulgar Latin *paralysia, from Latin paralysis, from Greek paralysis "paralysis, palsy," literally "loosening," from paralyein "disable, enfeeble," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + lyein "loosen, untie" (from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart"). A doublet of paralysis.

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dissoluble (adj.)

"capable of being dissolved; that may be disunited," 1530s, from Latin dissolubilis, from dissolvere "to loosen up, break apart" (see dissolve). Related: Dissolubility.

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soluble (adj.)

late 14c., "capable of being dissolved," from Old French soluble "expungable, eradicable" (13c.), from Late Latin solubilis "that may be loosened or dissolved," from stem of Latin solvere "to loosen, dissolve," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart." Meaning "capable of being solved" is attested from 1705. Substances are soluble, not solvable; problems can be either.

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catalysis (n.)

1650s, "dissolution," from Latinized form of Greek katalysis "dissolution, a dissolving" (of governments, military units, etc.), from katalyein "to dissolve," from kata "down" (or "completely"), see cata-, + lyein "to loosen" (from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart"). The chemical sense of "change caused by an agent which itself remains unchanged" is attested from 1836, introduced by Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848).

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paralysis (n.)

1520s, "impairment of the normal action of the nervous system in bringing body parts or organs into action," from Latin paralysis, from Greek paralysis "paralysis, palsy," literally "loosening," from paralyein "disable, enfeeble," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + lyein "loosen, untie" (from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart"). Figurative meaning "loss of energy, loss of the power of performing regular functions" is from 1813. Earlier form was paralysie (late 14c., see palsy). Old English equivalent was lyft adl (see left (adj.)) or crypelnes "crippleness."

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