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I would prefer a positive connotation.

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One you should probably avoid is "final solution". – FumbleFingers Jun 11 '14 at 20:42
nothing about the term 'solution' implies a temporary nature or a negative connotation. – Oldcat Jun 11 '14 at 21:23
Yes: Death. Lest it be thought to have a negative connotation, consider the Wandering Jew, the Flying Dutchman, and the last line of Plato's Apology; also Socrates' last words in the Phaedo, since the cock sacrifice to Asklepios was thanksgiving for cure (of ALL ills!). – Brian Donovan Jun 11 '14 at 22:04

A term that implies a permanent solution is:

A resolution

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Could you include a definition with a reference that substantiates your claim here? To me, a resolution is more like a statement of intent, that may or may not actually be carried out. A solution is a fix- it solves a problem, whereas a resolution is only a vow to take some action. – Jim Jun 12 '14 at 4:18
A problem is resolved when not only is there a solution, but also when that solution is applied. This is not the same usage of resolve as, for example, used when discussing the UN or a determined person. – Inductiveload Jun 12 '14 at 9:03
@Jim OED> "IV. Solving, answering, formal declaration, and related senses. 14. a. (a) The action or an act of finding the answer to a question, the solution to a problem, etc.; the elimination or easing of doubt. Also: the fact of such an answer, solution, etc., having been found." – Araucaria Jun 12 '14 at 13:16
@Araucaria I kind of feel the same way Jim does. Of course it implies a solution has been applied, but it does not really express permanence of the solution at all. – rschwieb Jun 12 '14 at 13:26
@rschwieb Do you mean Jim or Inductiveload? – Araucaria Jun 12 '14 at 13:55

Yes, solution. Anything else is a stop-gap, or a patch, or a temporary solution. The word solution only needs to be qualified to specify when it is not a permanent one. If it is, you just call it a solution.

Take, for example, this definition from Merriam Webster (emphasis mine):


: something that is used or done to deal with and end a problem : something that solves a problem

: the act of solving something

: a correct answer to a problem, puzzle, etc.

There is nothing that implies that a solution is not permanent. Quite the contrary, a solution is always permanent unless otherwise specified.

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A permanent solution is said to be definitive:

serving to supply a final answer, solution, or evaluation and to end an unsettled unresolved condition

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panacea can have this connotation. Although it really means a solution to all ills, in practice, it tends to mean a comprehensive solution to a problem, e.g. "A panacea for our IT problems".

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In real life, whatever is touted as a panacea never is, meaning you'll need to find another solution later, which means in practice it is not permanent. – choster Jun 12 '14 at 15:01
It's true that the term is sometimes used ironically, but it's not exclusively used that way. – drunkenwagoner Jun 12 '14 at 23:45

I have heard this phrased used in comp. sci and programming.

Canonical Solution

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Canonical refers to "most correct" and may not be "most permanent" however. – choster Jun 12 '14 at 15:08

You could go Latin, it sends the message better. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/immutabilis#Latin

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In the mathematics, science and other disciplines, a permanent solution is a "proof"

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Hmm. A proof substantiates a theory. I don't think it's necessarily the same as a solution, which is in response to a problem. – JHCL Oct 21 '15 at 8:40

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