- A liquid that holds another substance in solution, i.e., dissolves it. [L. solvens, pres. p. of solvo, to dissolve]- fat solvents organic liquids notable for their ability to dissolve lipids; usually, but not always, immiscible in water; e.g., diethyl ether, carbon tetrachloride. SYN: nonpolar solvents.- nonpolar solvents SYN: fat solvents.- polar solvents solvents that exhibit polar forces on solutes, due to high dipole moment, wide separation of charges, or tight association; e.g., water, alcohols, acids.- universal s. a substance sought by the alchemists, and claimed by some to have been found, supposedly capable of dissolving all substances; sometimes, in a physiological sense, applied to water.
* * *sol·vent 'säl-vənt, 'sȯl- adj that dissolves or can dissolve <\solvent fluids> <\solvent action of water>solvent n a substance capable of or used in dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances esp a liquid component of a solution present in greater amount than the solute
* * *sol·vent (solґvənt) [L. solvere to dissolve] 1. dissolving; effecting a solution. 2. a substance, usually a liquid, that dissolves or that is capable of dissolving; the component of a solution that is present in greater amount. Cf. solute.
Medical dictionary. 2011.