verb (used with object), devolved, devolving.
to transfer or delegate (a duty, responsibility, etc.) to or upon another; pass on.
Obsolete. to cause to roll downward.
verb (used without object), devolved, devolving.
to be transferred or passed on from one to another: The responsibility devolved on me.
Archaic. to roll or flow downward.

1375–1425; late Middle English devolven < Latin dēvolvere to roll down, equivalent to dē- de- + volvere to roll

devolvement, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To devolve
World English Dictionary
devolve (dɪˈvɒlv)
vb (foll by on, upon, to, etc)
1.  to pass or cause to pass to a successor or substitute, as duties, power, etc
2.  (intr; foll by on or upon) law (of an estate, etc) to pass to another by operation of law, esp on intestacy or bankruptcy
3.  (intr; foll by on or upon) to depend (on): your argument devolves on how you interpret this clause
4.  archaic to roll down or cause to roll down
[C15: from Latin dēvolvere to roll down, fall into, from de- + volvere to roll]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1420, from L. devolvere "to roll down," from de- + volvere "to roll" (see vulva).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The constant worry is that direct talks will devolve into recriminations and
  new violence.
They insist that any such process would devolve into partisan backbiting from
  which this country could never recover.
Most people would rather devolve this sort of responsibility to the authorities.
They tend to devolve into wild yet perfunctory gore.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature