from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To pass on or delegate to another: The senator devolved the duties of office upon a group of aides.
- transitive v. Archaic To cause to roll onward or downward.
- intransitive v. To be passed on or transferred to another: The burden of proof devolved upon the defendant. The estate devolved to an unlikely heir.
- intransitive v. To degenerate or deteriorate gradually: After several hours the discussion had devolved into a shouting match.
- intransitive v. Archaic To roll onward or downward.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. to delegate something to someone else
- v. to be inherited by someone; to come into the hands of
- v. to slowly degrade
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To roll onward or downward; to pass on.
- transitive v. To transfer from one person to another; to deliver over; to hand down; -- generally with upon, sometimes with to or into.
- intransitive v. To pass by transmission or succession; to be handed over or down; -- generally with on or upon, sometimes with to or into.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To roll downward or onward.
- To transfer, as from one person to another; turn over; transmit.
- To roll down; come or arrive by rolling down or onward.
- To be transferred or transmitted; pass from one to another; fall by succession or transference.
- To degenerate.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. grow worse
- v. be inherited by
- v. pass on or delegate to another
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.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin dēvolvō ("roll or tumble off or down"), from dē + volvō ("roll"). (Wiktionary)