[ in-vuh-loo-shuhn ]
See synonyms for involution on
  1. an act or instance of involving or entangling; involvement.

  2. the state of being involved.

  1. something complicated.

  2. Mathematics. a function that is its own inverse.

  3. Botany, Zoology.

    • a rolling up or folding in upon itself.

    • a part so formed.

  4. Biology. retrograde development; degeneration.

  5. Physiology. regressive changes in the body, as those occurring with old age.

  6. Anthropology, Sociology. growth without evolution, as in a growing agrarian society with increased field labor whose production mechanisms become more complex without increasing yield; diminishing returns.

  7. Grammar. a complex construction in which the subject is separated from its predicate by intervening clauses or phrases.

Origin of involution

First recorded in 1605–15; from Latin involūtiōn- (stem of involūtiō “a rolling up; a screw, spiral”); see involute, -ion

Other words from involution

  • su·per·in·vo·lu·tion, noun

Words Nearby involution Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use involution in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for involution


/ (ˌɪnvəˈluːʃən) /

  1. the act of involving or complicating or the state of being involved or complicated

  2. something involved or complicated

  1. zoology degeneration or structural deformation

  2. biology an involute formation or structure

  3. physiol reduction in size of an organ or part, as of the uterus following childbirth or as a result of ageing

  4. an algebraic operation in which a number, variable, expression etc, is raised to a specified power: Compare evolution (def. 5)

  5. grammar an involved construction, such as one in which the subject is separated from the predicate by an additional clause

Derived forms of involution

  • involutional, adjective

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 involution


[ ĭn′və-lōōshən ]

  1. A mathematical operation, such as negation, which, when applied to itself, returns the original number.

  2. The ingrowth and curling inward of a group of cells, as in the formation of a gastrula from a blastula.

  1. A decrease in size of an organ, as of the uterus following childbirth.

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