[ ih-volv ]
See synonyms for: evolveevolvedevolvesevolving on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),e·volved, e·volv·ing.
  1. to develop gradually: to evolve a scheme.

  2. to give off or emit, as odors or vapors.

verb (used without object),e·volved, e·volv·ing.
  1. to come forth gradually into being; develop; undergo evolution: The whole idea evolved from a casual remark.

  2. to gradually change one's opinions or beliefs: candidates who are still evolving on the issue;an evolved feminist mom.

  1. Biology. to develop by a process of evolution to a different adaptive state or condition: The human species evolved from an ancestor that was probably arboreal.

Origin of evolve

First recorded in 1635–45; from Latin ēvolvere “to unroll, open, unfold,” equivalent to ē- e-1 + volvere “to roll, turn”

Other words from evolve

  • e·volv·a·ble, adjective
  • e·volve·ment, noun
  • e·volv·er, noun
  • non·e·volv·ing, adjective
  • self-e·volved, adjective
  • self-e·volv·ing, adjective
  • un·e·volved, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use evolve in a sentence

  • In short, evolution requires a previous Evolver; since it cannot have been going on for ever, and it cannot have started itself.

    The Truth of Christianity | William Harry Turton
  • We p. xxiiihold in this case to our old idea, and say—If there be evolution, there must be an evolver.

    Westminster Sermons | Charles Kingsley
  • This mode of popular speech reached the climax of absurdity when it was gravely argued that "Evolution implies an Evolver."

  • We hold in this case to our old idea, and say: If there be evolution, there must be an evolver.

British Dictionary definitions for evolve


/ (ɪˈvɒlv) /

  1. to develop or cause to develop gradually

  2. (intr) (of animal or plant species) to undergo evolution

  1. (tr) to yield, emit, or give off (heat, gas, vapour, etc)

Origin of evolve

C17: from Latin ēvolvere to unfold, from volvere to roll

Derived forms of evolve

  • evolvable, adjective
  • evolvement, noun
  • evolver, noun

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

Scientific definitions for evolve


[ ĭ-vŏlv ]

  1. To undergo biological evolution, as in the development of new species or new traits within a species.

  2. To develop a characteristic through the process of evolution.

  1. To undergo change and development, as the structures of the universe.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.