- 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
- (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 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.