from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Intricate; complex.
  • adj. Botany Having the margins rolled inward.
  • adj. Botany Having whorls that obscure the axis or other volutions, as the shell of a cowrie.
  • intransitive v. To curl inward.
  • intransitive v. To return to a normal or former condition.
  • n. The curve traced by a point on a taut, inextensible string as it unwinds from another curve.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Difficult to understand; complicated.
  • adj. Having the edges rolled with the adaxial side outward.
  • adj. Having a complex pattern of coils.
  • adj. Turned inward at the margin, like the exterior lip of the Cyprea.
  • adj. Rolled inward spirally.
  • v. To roll or curl inwards.
  • n. A curve that cuts all tangents of another curve at right angles; traced by a point on a string that unwinds from a curved object.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Rolled inward from the edges; -- said of leaves in vernation, or of the petals of flowers in æstivation.
  • adj.
  • adj. Turned inward at the margin, as the exterior lip of the Cyprea.
  • adj. Rolled inward spirally.
  • n. A curve traced by the end of a string wound upon another curve, or unwound from it; -- called also evolvent. See evolute.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Rolled up; wrapped up.
  • Involved; confusedly mingled.
  • n. That which is involved.
  • n. In geometry, the curve traced by any point of a flexible and inextensible string when the latter is unwrapped, under tension, from a given curve; or, in other words, the locus of a point in a right line which rolls, without sliding, over a given curve.
  • Noting a form of tooth-profile, used in gearing, traced by a point at the end of a tangent as it is unwrapped from a base-circle.
  • To return to a normal condition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of some shells) closely coiled so that the axis is obscured
  • adj. especially of petals or leaves in bud; having margins rolled inward


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin involūtus, past participle of involvere, to enwrap; see involve.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin involutus.


  • Oh, and a nuanced take on bringing involute cunning to a ruthlessness contest.

    Making Light: Rowling's being sued for plagiarism again

  • Without thinking, outréblack squirrels inhabit upper Michigan and petrify the involute world.

    Black Squirrel Poem

  • You offer a variety points of view, acknowledge your own contradictions, resolve them, involute and qualify and complicate and undermine those resolutions, and end up with an ultimate determination so considered, nuanced, and precise, with so much allowance for exceptions, that the only possible response short of writing a parallel novella-length essay of my own (like I did last time) is to quibble.

    The Sacred Domain

  • But the common law was involute, overformalized, and fiction-ridden not because it was changeless, but precisely because it was constantly changing.

    A History of American Law

  • The possible moves being not only manifold but involute, the chances of such oversights are multiplied; and in nine cases out of ten it is the more concentrative rather than the more acute player who conquers.

    The Murders in the Rue Morgue

  • “But why should they?” persisted Cowperwood, charmed and interested by the involute character of her logic.

    The Titan

  • There are compromises of the spirit too elusive and subtle to be traced in all their involute windings.

    The Titan

  • The term "free threshing" is also applied to the involute glumes of some West African guinea sorghums.

    10. Sorghum: Specialty Types

  • The sort of person given to staging extravagant parabolical dramas or writing out involute private imaginings is usually at a bit of a loss among artisans of more practical fantasies; or, often enough, their victim.

    Genet's Last Stand

  • Then even that sound ceased as she fell, insensate, to the floor roiling with involute energy.

    The Kaisho


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  • The thymus involutes with age and is virtually undetectable

    in postpubertal humans

    November 18, 2010

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