• synonyms


[adjective, noun in-vuh-loot; verb in-vuh-loot, in-vuh-loot]
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  1. intricate; complex.
  2. curled or curved inward or spirally.
  3. Botany. rolled inward from the edge, as a leaf.
  4. Zoology. (of shells) having the whorls closely wound.
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  1. Geometry. any curve of which a given curve is the evolute.
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verb (used without object), in·vo·lut·ed, in·vo·lut·ing.
  1. to roll or curl up; become involute.
  2. to return to a normal shape, size, or state.
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Origin of involute

1655–65; < Latin involūtus (past participle of involvere to roll up, wrap, cover), equivalent to in- in-2 + volū- (variant stem of volvere to roll) + -tus past participle suffix; cf. involve
Related formsin·vo·lute·ly, adverbsub·in·vo·lute, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for involute

Historical Examples

  • But the involute edges of the pileus are bearded with close hairs.

    Mushroom Culture

    W. Robinson

  • Involute: ridgeless, with flanking lines, but no keel; soft and rather thick.


    H. Marshall Ward

  • Involute, in vernation, 72; rolled inwards from the edges, 97.

  • The margin of the cap is smooth and turned under at first (involute).

    Among the Mushrooms

    Ellen M. Dallas and Caroline A. Burgin

  • The body is ornamented with carelessly drawn, deeply incised, involute designs.

British Dictionary definitions for involute


adjective (ˈɪnvəˌluːt) involuted
  1. complex, intricate, or involved
  2. botany (esp of petals, leaves, etc, in bud) having margins that are rolled inwards
  3. (of certain shells) closely coiled so that the axis is obscured
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noun (ˈɪnvəˌluːt)
  1. geometry the curve described by the free end of a thread as it is wound around another curve, the evolute, such that its normals are tangential to the evoluteSee also evolute
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verb (ˌɪnvəˈluːt)
  1. (intr) to become involute
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Derived Formsinvolutely, adverbinvolutedly, adverb

Word Origin

C17: from Latin involūtus, from involvere; see involve
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 involute


early 15c., from Latin involutus "rolled up, intricate, obscure," past participle of involvere (see involve).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper