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[in-vuh-loo-shuh n] /ˌɪn vəˈlu ʃən/
an act or instance of involving or entangling; involvement.
the state of being involved.
something complicated.
Botany, Zoology.
  1. a rolling up or folding in upon itself.
  2. a part so formed.
Biology. retrograde development; degeneration.
Physiology. the regressive changes in the body occurring with old age.
Grammar. a complex construction in which the subject is separated from its predicate by intervening clauses or phrases.
Mathematics. a function that is its own inverse.
Origin of involution
First recorded in 1605-15, involution is from the Medieval Latin word involūtiōn- (stem of involūtiō). See involute, -ion
Related forms
superinvolution, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for involution
Historical Examples
  • Neither evolution nor involution will ever effect the value of a unit.

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • No "evolution," no "involution," no word without sense or meaning.

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • This is the process of the involution of life in matter, the descending arc.

    Evolution of Life and Form Annie Wood Besant
  • Kathekosis (from Chaos-Theos-Kosmos) is to evolution what "chaogeny" is to involution.

    The Mystery of Space Robert T. Browne
  • It is Alpha, as related to involution, and Omega, as related to evolution.

    The Mystery of Space Robert T. Browne
  • The arrest, or involution, normal to the girl, does not occur in him.

    Feminism and Sex-Extinction

    Arabella Kenealy
  • The centre of this involution, it is easily seen, is the centre of the conic.

  • But the technique of this second involution of reflection is not supplied by some new and unique entity.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • Evolution and involution balance each other and go on concurrently.

    Outspoken Essays William Ralph Inge
  • Ecks was executing a series of caricatures illustrating the involution of Hodgkins' face back into a crab-apple.

    The Incendiary W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
British Dictionary definitions for involution


the act of involving or complicating or the state of being involved or complicated
something involved or complicated
(zoology) degeneration or structural deformation
(biology) an involute formation or structure
(physiol) reduction in size of an organ or part, as of the uterus following childbirth or as a result of ageing
an algebraic operation in which a number, variable, expression etc, is raised to a specified power Compare evolution (sense 5)
(grammar) an involved construction, such as one in which the subject is separated from the predicate by an additional clause
Derived Forms
involutional, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for involution

late 14c., from Latin involutionem (nominative involutio) "a rolling up," noun of action from past participle stem of involvere (see involve). Related: Involutional.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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involution in Medicine

involution in·vo·lu·tion (ĭn'və-lōō'shən)

  1. A decrease in size of an organ, as of the uterus following childbirth.

  2. The ingrowth and curling inward of a group of cells, as in the formation of a gastrula from a blastula.

  3. A progressive decline or degeneration of normal physiological functioning occurring as a result of the aging process. Also called catagenesis.

in'vo·lu'tion·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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involution in Science
  1. A mathematical operation, such as negation, which, when applied to itself, returns the original number.

  2. The ingrowth and curling inward of a group of cells, as in the formation of a gastrula from a blastula.

  3. A decrease in size of an organ, as of the uterus following childbirth.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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