late 14c. (transitive and intransitive) "to break up" (of material substances), 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." Meaning "to disband" (an assembly) is early 15c. Related: Dissolved; dissolving.
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