- To devolve is to delegate or pass on power especially to someone at a lower level, or to change for the worse.
- When a federal government leader delegates power to lower-ranked state leaders, this is an example of when power devolves.
- When a unified country splits up and dissolves into different governing states, this is an example of when the country devolves.
devolve definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Middle English devolven ; from Classical Latin devolvere, to roll down ; from de-, down plush volvere, to roll: see walk
- to pass or be transferred to another or others
- to change gradually for the worse; decline; deteriorate
- devolvement noun
devolve definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb de·volved, de·volv·ing, de·volves verb, transitive
- To pass on or delegate to another: The senator devolved the duties of office upon a group of aides.
- Archaic To cause to roll onward or downward.
- To be passed on or transferred to another: The burden of proof devolved upon the defendant. The estate devolved to an unlikely heir.
- To degenerate or deteriorate gradually: After several hours the discussion had devolved into a shouting match.
- Archaic To roll onward or downward.
Origin: Middle English devolven, to transfer, from Old French devolver, to confer, ascribe, from Latin dēvolvere, to roll down, fall to : dē-, de- + volvere, to roll; see wel-2 in Indo-European roots.
- de·volveˈment noun
devolve - Legal Definition