WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
dev•o•lu•tion  (dev′ə lo̅o̅shən or, esp. Brit.,və-),USA pronunciation n. 
  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. Lawmakingthe passing of property from one to another, as by hereditary succession.
  4. Developmental Biology[Biol.]degeneration.
  5. Governmentthe transfer of power or authority from a central government to a local government.
dev′o•lution•ar′y, adj., n., 
dev′o•lution•ist, n. 
  • Medieval Latin dēvolūtiōn- (stem of dēvolūtiō) a rolling down, equivalent. to Latin dēvolūt(us) rolled down (past participle of dēvolvere; see devolve) + -iōn- -ion
  • Middle French)
  • ( 1535–45

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

devolution /ˌdiːvəˈluːʃən/ n
  1. the act, fact, or result of devolving
  2. a passing onwards or downwards from one stage to another
  3. a transfer or allocation of authority, esp from a central government to regional governments or particular interests
Etymology: 16th Century: from Medieval Latin dēvolūtiō a rolling down, from Latin dēvolvere to roll down, sink into; see devolve

ˌdevoˈlutionary adj ˌdevoˈlutionist n , adj


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