devolution

noun de·vo·lu·tion \ ˌde-və-ˈlü-shən also ˌdē-və- \

Definition of devolution

1 :transference (as of rights, powers, property, or responsibility) to another; especially :the surrender of powers to local authorities by a central government
2 :retrograde (see 1retrograde 2) evolution :degeneration

devolutionary

play \-shə-ˌner-ē\ adjective

devolutionist

play \-sh(ə-)nist\ noun

Examples of devolution in a Sentence

  1. the gradual devolution of the neighborhood from a thriving community of close-knit families to a drug-ridden slum

Recent Examples of devolution from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devolution.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of devolution

Medieval Latin devolution-, devolutio, from Latin devolvere — see devolve


DEVOLUTION Defined for English Language Learners

devolution

noun

Definition of devolution for English Language Learners

  • : the act or process by which a central government gives power, property, etc., to local groups or governments


Law Dictionary

devolution

noun de·vo·lu·tion \ ˌde-və-ˈlü-shən, ˌdē- \

legal Definition of devolution

:the transfer (as of rights, powers, property, or responsibility) to another


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