- to transfer or delegate (a duty, responsibility, etc.) to or upon another; pass on.
- Obsolete. to cause to roll downward.
- to be transferred or passed on from one to another: The responsibility devolved on me.
- Archaic. to roll or flow downward.
Origin of devolve
Examples from the Web for devolve
Everyone knew that that reality could easily, indeed would likely, devolve into the sectarian disaster we see now.GOP Iraq Hypocrisy Hits Overdrive
June 16, 2014
This will, inevitably, devolve into the comedian freaking out and crying on the floor.Brett Gelman Has Dinner with Your Favorite TV Sidekicks
April 24, 2014
Politics has a tendency to devolve into juvenile playground taunts and smears.Why Republicans Don't Get the Benefit of the Doubt on Race
March 17, 2014
Israeli politics will now devolve into a fierce period of horse-trading, double dealing, and speculation.Israel’s Election Could Be Bad News for Netanyahu
January 23, 2013
It takes far less than 46 days for a teachable moment to devolve into an airing of fetid undercurrents from the American id.What Got George Zimmerman Charged With Second-Degree Murder
April 12, 2012
Leisure for the grand duties which devolve on the lords of mankind.Cyropaedia
Please bear in mind that it does not devolve upon you to decide that question.Peggy Stewart at School
Gabrielle E. Jackson
Thou art his only son, and on thee his duties will now devolve.Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends
Charlotte begged that on herself might devolve the care of furnishing it.Rich Enough
Hannah Farnham Sawyer Lee
Your lands, your principalities, to devolve on the child of an humble Englishman!My Novel, Complete
- (foll by on, upon, to, etc) to pass or cause to pass to a successor or substitute, as duties, power, etc
- (intr; foll by on or upon) law (of an estate, etc) to pass to another by operation of law, esp on intestacy or bankruptcy
- (intr; foll by on or upon) to depend (on)your argument devolves on how you interpret this clause
- archaic to roll down or cause to roll down
Word Origin and History for devolve
early 15c., "to roll down," from Latin devolvere "to roll down," from de- (see de-) + volvere "to roll" (see volvox). Figurative sense of "to cause to pass down" is from 1520s. Related: Devolved; devolving. Also in same sense was devolute (1530s), from Latin devolutus, past participle of devolvere.