[ dih-volv ]
/ dɪˈvɒlv /
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verb (used with object), de·volved, de·volv·ing.
to transfer or delegate (a duty, responsibility, etc.) to or upon another; pass on.
Obsolete. to cause to roll downward.
verb (used without object), de·volved, de·volv·ing.
to be transferred or passed on from one to another: The responsibility devolved on me.
Archaic. to roll or flow downward.
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Origin of devolve
1375–1425; late Middle English devolven<Latin dēvolvere to roll down, equivalent to dē-de- + volvere to roll
OTHER WORDS FROM devolvede·volve·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use devolve in a sentence
Durant’s early-career Oklahoma City Thunder often devolved into unproductive my-turn, your-turn offense, while his title-winning Warriors teams blitzed opponents with a systematic approach that relied on ball movement and outside shooting.So much for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving needing time to jell. The Nets have come out firing.|Ben Golliver|December 26, 2020|Washington Post
On Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s watch, multiple real estate acquisitions devolved into scandal, costing the city time and taxpayer money.Real Estate Debacles Loomed Large on Faulconer’s Watch|Lisa Halverstadt|December 10, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Some of those protests devolved into violent acts or looting.McEnany has mastered the ‘all of the credit, none of the blame’ approach to the pandemic|Philip Bump|December 2, 2020|Washington Post
Now, though, she’s defending the purchase of another downtown building the city rushed to buy and that is back in the news as it devolves into another debacle.Bry Has a Different Take on Another Downtown Building Debacle|Lisa Halverstadt|October 7, 2020|Voice of San Diego
In Florida, three campaigns for Congress have devolved into backbiting and criminal accusations.What To Watch In Today’s Elections In Alaska, Florida And Wyoming|Geoffrey Skelley (firstname.lastname@example.org)|August 18, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
British Dictionary definitions for devolve
/ (dɪˈvɒlv) /
(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
Derived forms of devolvedevolvement, noun
Word Origin for devolve
C15: from Latin dēvolvere to roll down, fall into, from de- + volvere to roll
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