Resolution (NOUN) as in New Year’s Resolution–likely the best known usage of the word, at least to American ears–is listed third of six definitions/usages on Merriam Webster.com. And if dictionaries are compiled the way they were when I was in junior high, that means the further down you travel in the list of definitions, the less used that iteration of the term is used. To put it more straightforward, the first definition is the most prevalent version in that language–here American English–and so on down. Some of the definitions of resolution include analyzing, answering, or determining as in an act of resolving; a formal expression of opinion; and the measure of the sharpness of an image such as on a computer screen.
Entry number three reads: (3a actually) “something that is resolved <made a resolution to mend my ways>.” From this definition we get our first-of-the-year custom of resolving to do something to better our lives in the upcoming 365 days. (You can view all six definitions at m-w.com.)
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