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A continuing process of degeneration or breaking down, in contrast to evolution.
See also: involution, catabolism.
[L. de-volvo, pp. -volutus, to roll down]


(dĕv′ə-lo͞o′shən, dē′və-)
1. A passing down or descent through successive stages of time or a process.
2. Transference, as of rights or qualities, to a successor.
3. Delegation of authority or duties to a subordinate or substitute.
4. A transfer of powers from a central government to local units.
5. Biology Degeneration.

dev′o·lu′tion·ar′y (-shə-nĕr′ē) adj.
dev′o·lu′tion·ist n.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Richard Report should be thrown into the nearest bin,and the people and politicians of Wales should be made to get off the devolutionary fence and make a proper decision,by giving an honest answer to the question Is Wales a nation or is Wales an English region?
None of this, however, addresses the argument which was heard even in the first sting of Labour defeat and SNP frustration: that 75 per cent of the Scottish electorate voted for parties which had committed themselves to major constitutional change, even though the Lib-Lab devolutionary approach is totally inconsistent with the Nationalist policy of |independence in Europe.
The letter said: "I would like to see a radical, devolutionary White Paper and subsequent Bill, with more powers for local neighbourhoods and new models of accountability and leadership, including mayors.
Given Edinburgh's devolutionary experience,costs are bound to escalate.
This was despite Messrs Blair, Brown, Prescott and Kennedy standing shoulder to shoulder supporting this devolutionary fraud.
To borrow a devolutionary metaphor, this is the elephant on the doorstep.
Instead of doing something positive, like refusing to conform to the Mac stereotype , even ignoring it or - and here's a revolutionary, if not devolutionary, thought for us - LAUGHING at it - we take the lowest road out and blame the Sassenachs.
A strange alliance has been formed between the English nationalists who dominate the Tory group at Westminster and the Welsh nationalists for whom every step along the devolutionary path brings Wales closer to independence.
Paul Spicer directs the Birmingham Bach Choir, Florilegium and a distinguished solo quartet in Bach's Mass in B minor on Saturday, February 5; and Bach completes this part of the season with Symphony Hall's annual Good Friday performance of the St Matthew Passion, on April 21, David Hill conducting the English Chamber Orchestra and the Bach Choir, though Birmingham and other regional Bach Choirs might have something to say about such presumption from London these devolutionary days.
bar] SIR - I read with interest Eric Howells letter (April 12) on his disenchantment at the people of Wales 12 years ago voting for more control over their destiny through devolutionary powers.
He said the shake-up was a devolutionary measure and it was up to councils also to consult local people and groups, which was happening in Northumberland.
When Labour embarked on its great devolutionary experiment like some mad scientist let loose in a chemistry laboratory it started a chain reaction which it has no idea how to stop.