A solvent is a liquid (mostly, however it can be a solid or gas as well) in which another liquid or solid is dissolved. These are mainly used for preparing solutions for carrying out chemical reactions and for cleaning purposes (in a household).
All the cleaning fluids that we use at home are basically solvents, since they dissolve some stain or grease or dirt and help us keep our household clean. Many of them are alcohol based.
Some commonly used solvents are:
1) Trichloroethylene (TCE): for dry-cleaning applications.
2) Chloroform: excellent solvent, however its use is limited to research and industrial application.
3) Ethanol: used to dissolve a number of chemicals, used extensively in research work and in perfumes.
4) Toluene: used in paint thinners.
5) Acetone: nail polish cleaner.
Most of the time a solvent is a liquid (or a gas) that dissolves other substances that are known as a solute (which can be a solid, liquid, or a gas). The most popular solvent would be water and in many cases the solute can be sugar cube, kool aid, or salt.
A solvent is the component of greatest amount in a solution. It is the component into which the solute dissolves. A solution is a mixture of two or more substances that occur as any phase of matter.
Examples- water, ethanol, methanol, kerosene
A solvent is a substance in which another substance is dissolved. Some examples are water, turpentine, and nitrogen in air.