devolution

[dev-uh-loo-shuh n or, esp. British, dee-vuh-]

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.

Nearby words

  1. devoice,
  2. devoid,
  3. devoir,
  4. devoirs,
  5. devolatilize,
  6. devolve,
  7. devon,
  8. devon island,
  9. devon minnow,
  10. devon rex

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 formsdev·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

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 Formsdevolutionary, 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

Word Origin and History for devolution

devolution

n.

1540s; see de- + evolution. Used in various legal and figurative senses; in biology, as the opposite of evolution, it is attested from 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper