Science, Tech, Math › Science Solute Definition and Examples in Chemistry A solute is a substance that is dissolved in a solution Share Flipboard Email Print The acrylic paint would be the solute and the water is the solvent. antonioiacobelli / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated September 20, 2019 A solute is defined as the substance that is dissolved in a solution. For solutions of fluids, the solvent is present in greater amount than the solute. Concentration is a measurement of the amount of solute present in a chemical solution, with respect to the amount of solvent. Examples of Solutes Usually, a solute is a solid that is dissolved into a liquid. An everyday example of a solute is salt in water. Salt is the solute that dissolves in water, the solvent, to form a saline solution. On the other hand, water vapor is considered a solute in air because nitrogen and oxygen are present in much larger concentration levels in the gas. Different Types of Solutes When two liquids are mixed to form a solution, the solute is the species present in the smaller ratio. For example, in a 1 M sulfuric acid solution, sulfuric acid is the solute while water is the solvent. The terms "solute" and "solvent" can also be applied to alloys and solid solutions. Carbon may be considered a solute in steel, for example.