1. A liquid in which substances (or solutes) are dissolved forming a solution.
2. In a solution, the solvent is the one that is usually present in greater amount than the solute.
The most widely used solvent is water since it dissolves many substances; hence, it is regarded as the ‘universal solvent’.
Word origin: French, from Latin solvēns, present participle of solvere, to loosen.
Related forms: solvency (noun), solvently (adverb).
See also: solution, water