devolution

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

Historical Examples of devolutionary


British Dictionary definitions for devolutionary

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 devolutionary

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