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[ih-volv] /ɪˈvɒlv/
verb (used with object), evolved, evolving.
to develop gradually:
to evolve a scheme.
to give off or emit, as odors or vapors.
verb (used without object), evolved, evolving.
to come forth gradually into being; develop; undergo evolution:
The whole idea evolved from a casual remark.
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
1635-45; < Latin ēvolvere to unroll, open, unfold, equivalent to ē- e-1 + volvere to roll, turn
Related forms
evolvable, adjective
evolvement, noun
evolver, noun
nonevolving, adjective
self-evolved, adjective
self-evolving, adjective
unevolved, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for evolve
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Some of them are monsters in size, and evolve a current that is terrific.

    Steam Steel and Electricity James W. Steele
  • But it was a truce only and there was no indication that it could ever evolve into friendship.

    Space Prison Tom Godwin
  • Even if the Mycenaeans did not evolve the corslet, there is no reason why, in the Homeric times, it should not have been evolved.

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
  • By the teeth of her very cats did she evolve her succulent clover.

    Old Familiar Faces Theodore Watts-Dunton
  • A certain number, of course, will have their curiosity piqued by the thought that anyone should evolve so curious a notion.

    The Thirteenth James J. Walsh
British Dictionary definitions for evolve


to develop or cause to develop gradually
(intransitive) (of animal or plant species) to undergo evolution
(transitive) to yield, emit, or give off (heat, gas, vapour, etc)
Derived Forms
evolvable, adjective
evolvement, noun
evolver, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin ēvolvere to unfold, from volvere to roll
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
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Word Origin and History for evolve

1640s, "to unfold, open out, expand," from Latin evolvere "to unroll," especially of books; figuratively "to make clear, disclose; to produce, develop," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + volvere "to roll" (see volvox). Meaning "to develop by natural processes to a higher state" is from 1832. Related: Evolved; evolving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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evolve in Science
  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.

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

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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