devolution

noun
de·​vo·​lu·​tion | \ ˌde-və-ˈlü-shən also ˌdē-və- How to pronounce devolution (audio) \

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 retrograde entry 1 sense 2) evolution : degeneration

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Other Words from devolution

devolutionary \ -​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce devolutionary (audio) \ adjective
devolutionist \ -​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce devolutionist (audio) \ noun

Examples of devolution in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Even in this context, Seattle’s devolution is odd for two reasons. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Oh, So Now the Seahawks Want to Run the Ball," 14 Dec. 2018 This should involve power-sharing in Damascus, and the devolution of power to the provinces. The Economist, "Syrian refugees could turn into the new Palestinians," 30 June 2018 This governance model failure is the real story underpinning the GE devolution. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "Readers React to WSJ’s Article on GE’s Decline," 17 Dec. 2018 Such were the devolutions and betrayals in those days, and retrogressions to the ways of shame. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The Book of Donald," 4 Oct. 2018 Elsewhere Kevin Roose wades through tweets and Facebook posts to chart the alleged mail bomber’s devolution into a fringe conspiracy theorist and terrorist. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why social media is friend to far-right politicians around the world," 30 Oct. 2018 That would come to Scotland with devolution in 1999. The Economist, "The siren call of separatism," 12 July 2018 Her Colorado colleague over at the Interior Department, James Watt, sought a similar devolution of control over federal lands; OSHA and FDA were also targeted. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018 Speaking to Bloomberg Daybreak Europe’s Caroline Hepker and Anna Edwards, Andy Burnham discussed Brexit, austerity Britain and the benefits of devolution. Bloomberg.com, "Burnham: Renationalizing Some Utilities Makes Sense," 6 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of devolution

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for devolution

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

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devolatilize

devolute

devolution

devolve

devon

Devon

Statistics for devolution

Last Updated

27 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for devolution

The first known use of devolution was in 1545

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More Definitions for devolution

devolution

noun

English Language Learners Definition of devolution

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

devolution

noun
de·​vo·​lu·​tion | \ ˌde-və-ˈlü-shən, ˌdē- How to pronounce devolution (audio) \

Legal Definition of devolution

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

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