devolution

[ dev-uh-loo-shuh n or, esp. British, dee-vuh- ]
/ ˌdɛv əˈlu ʃən or, esp. British, ˈdi və- /

noun

the act or fact of devolving; passage onward from stage to stage.
the passing on to a successor of an unexercised right.
Law. the passing of property from one to another, as by hereditary succession.
Biology. degeneration.
the transfer of power or authority from a central government to a local government.

Origin of devolution

1535–45; (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin dēvolūtiōn- (stem of dēvolūtiō) a rolling down, equivalent to Latin dēvolūt(us) rolled down (past participle of dēvolvere; see devolve) + -iōn- -ion

Related forms

dev·o·lu·tion·ar·y, adjective, noundev·o·lu·tion·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for devolution

British Dictionary definitions for devolution

devolution

/ (ˌdiːvəˈluːʃən) /

noun

the act, fact, or result of devolving
a passing onwards or downwards from one stage to another
another word for degeneration (def. 3)
a transfer or allocation of authority, esp from a central government to regional governments or particular interests

Derived Forms

devolutionary, adjectivedevolutionist, noun, adjective

Word Origin for devolution

C16: from Medieval Latin dēvolūtiō a rolling down, from Latin dēvolvere to roll down, sink into; see devolve
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