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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 classic literature ?
When the business of the husbandman devolves not on the citizen, the matter is much easier settled; but when those labour together who have a common right of possession, this may occasion several difficulties; for there may not be an equal proportion between their labour and what they consume; and those who labour hard and have but a small proportion of the produce, will certainly complain of those who take a large share of it and do but little for that.
The regulations are explicit, and if the Coldwater crosses thirty it devolves upon you to place Lieutenant Turck under arrest and immediately exert every endeavor to bring the ship back into Pan-American waters.
But, my dear Podsnap,' quoth Veneering, 'there IS a tried friend of our family who, I think and hope you will agree with me, Podsnap, is the friend on whom this agreeable duty almost naturally devolves.
THE decision to devolve income tax will be seen as a victory for those who pushed within the Conservatives for Wales to be able to set its own rate, which resulted in a row that saw four front bench Tories sacked in 2014.
way forward devolve and Prime Minister David Cameron plans to use PS1billion in welfare cuts to fund three million new apprenticeships.
EAG chair Dame Kate Barker said: "Following commitments made around the Scottish referendum there is now a clear drive to devolve more powers to regional governments and this must start with the UK Government concluding on the long-awaited plans for the NI Executive being offered the powers to set its own rate of corporation tax.
If the UK parties had been keen to devolve more powers, something concrete would have come out, by now.
To forge a more progressive tax system, we intend to devolve new tax powers to the Scottish Parliament.
He has been robust in challenging his own government to devolve power to the regions, starting with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP.
Since the Government call came to devolve power to the regions, Teesside has acted swiftly, decisively and skillfully.
Glenn Corporation--Tempo Canada): welcomed Jeffrey Devolve as regulatory and compliance manager for DeWolf and Glenn.
THE government has signed off a pounds 130m deal paving the way for Liverpool to have an elected mayor - and promised to devolve even more powers in future.