devolutionary

devolution

[dev-uh-loo-shuhn or, esp. British, dee-vuh-]
noun
1.
the act or fact of devolving; passage onward from stage to stage.
2.
the passing on to a successor of an unexercised right.
3.
Law. the passing of property from one to another, as by hereditary succession.
4.
Biology, degeneration.
5.
the transfer of power or authority from a central government to a local government.

Origin:
1535–45; (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin dēvolūtiōn- (stem of dēvolūtiō) a rolling down, equivalent to Latin dēvolūt(us) rolled down (past participle of dēvolvere; see devolve) + -iōn- -ion

devolutionary, adjective, noun
devolutionist, noun
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World English Dictionary
devolution (ˌdiːvəˈluːʃən)
 
n
1.  the act, fact, or result of devolving
2.  a passing onwards or downwards from one stage to another
3.  another word for degeneration
4.  a transfer or allocation of authority, esp from a central government to regional governments or particular interests
 
[C16: from Medieval Latin dēvolūtiō a rolling down, from Latin dēvolvere to roll down, sink into; see devolve]
 
devo'lutionary
 
adj
 
devo'lutionist
 
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

devolution
1545, from de- + (e)volution. Used in various legal and fig. senses; in biology, as the opposite of evolution, it is attested from 1882.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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