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.
"capable of being dissolved; that may be disunited," 1530s, from Latin dissolubilis, from dissolvere "to loosen up, break apart" (see dissolve). Related: Dissolubility.
late 14c., "loose, negligent, morally or religiously lax," from Latin dissolutus "loose, disconnected; careless; licentious," past participle of dissolvere "loosen up" (see dissolve). A figurative use in classical Latin; the etymological sense "disrupted, severed" (early 15c.) is rare in English. Related: Dissolutely; dissoluteness.
mid-14c., "frivolity, moral laxness, dissolute living;" late 14c., dissolucioun, "separation into parts, dispersal;" from Old French dissolution (12c.) and directly from Latin dissolutionem (nominative dissolutio) "a dissolving, destroying, interruption, dissolution," noun of action from past-participle stem of dissolvere "to loosen up, break apart" (see dissolve).
Sense of "act of dissolving, a changing from a solid to a liquid state" is from 1590s. From 1530s as "the breaking up of an assembly or other association." From 1520s as "death," perhaps from the notion of "separation of soul and body."
It forms all or part of: absolute; absolution; absolve; analysis; analytic; catalysis; catalyst; catalytic; dialysis; dissolve; electrolysis; electrolyte; forlorn; Hippolytus; hydrolysis; -less; loess; loose; lorn; lose; loss; Lysander; lysergic; lysis; -lysis; lyso-; lysol; lytic; -lytic; palsy; paralysis; pyrolusite; resolute; resolution; resolve; soluble; solute; solution; solve; solvent.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit lunati "cuts, cuts off," lavitram "sickle;" Greek lyein "to loosen, untie, slacken," lysus "a loosening;" Latin luere "to loose, release, atone for, expiate;" Old Norse lauss "loose, free, unencumbered; vacant; dissolute;" Old English losian "be lost, perish."
"substance able to dissolve other substances," 1670s, from Latin solventem (see solvent (adj.)).