\i-ˈvälv, -ˈvȯlv, ē- also -ˈväv or -ˈvȯv\
evolved; evolving

Definition of evolve 

transitive verb

1 : emit

2a : derive, educe

b : to produce by natural evolutionary processes

c : develop, work out evolve social, political, and literary philosophies— L. W. Doob

intransitive verb

: to undergo evolutionary change

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Other Words from evolve

evolvable \i-ˈväl-və-bəl, -ˈvȯl-, ē- also -ˈvä-və- or -ˈvȯ-və- \ adjective
evolvement \i-ˈvälv-mənt, -ˈvȯlv-, ē- also -ˈväv- or -ˈvȯv- \ noun

Examples of evolve in a Sentence

Her company has evolved from a hobby into a thriving business. Some flowers have evolved remarkable means of insect pollination.

Recent Examples on the Web

Japan’s fearsome Kempeitai (military police) and its thuggish Chinese puppet government included—to turn a blind eye to the no-man’s-land that evolved west of those concessions. The Economist, "A gripping tale of Sodom sliding towards its bloody end," 12 July 2018 But better than the literal word prints were the colors and patterns, which have evolved leaps and bounds since the label’s start. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "A Designer With a Military Past Looks for Peace," 11 July 2018 Today’s young people have bought into an idea of diversity that has evolved beyond a Black and white binary. refinery29.com, "What Happened To All Of The Black Teen Shows?," 3 July 2018 The book received rave reviews from historians such as Robert F. Durden, who praised her treatment of slavery as a dynamic, changing institution that evolved over time. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Willie Lee Rose, influential historian of slavery and Reconstruction, dies at 91," 26 June 2018 In the book’s opening chapter, the authors give an overview of Cuba’s culinary history, which evolved from the island’s colonization and waves of migration. Chris Ross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Cuban shredded beef has origins in Spain," 25 June 2018 Fortune CEO Initiative is an annual gathering of corporate leaders focused on addressing major global problems, a mission that evolved after a historic meeting between Pope Francis and 100 CEOs at the Vatican in December 2016. John Patrick Pullen, Fortune, "From Happiness to Existential Threats, an Evening With Steven Pinker," 25 June 2018 However, officials indicated to Ars that the military was evolving its certification process. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Air Force certifies Falcon Heavy, orders satellite launch for 2020," 21 June 2018 Viruses that had specifically evolved to kill those microbes might be able to help. Eric Boodman, STAT, "First phage therapy center in the U.S. signals growing acceptance," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evolve.' 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 evolve

1772, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for evolve

Latin evolvere to unroll, from e- + volvere to roll — more at voluble

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Statistics for evolve

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evolve

The first known use of evolve was in 1772

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English Language Learners Definition of evolve

: to change or develop slowly often into a better, more complex, or more advanced state : to develop by a process of evolution


\i-ˈvälv \
evolved; evolving

Kids Definition of evolve

: to change or develop gradually


\i-ˈvälv, -ˈvȯlv \
evolved; evolving

Medical Definition of evolve 

transitive verb

: to produce by natural evolutionary processes

intransitive verb

: to develop by or as if by evolution : undergo evolutionary change an evolving theory of mental functioning— S. A. Green

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More from Merriam-Webster on evolve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for evolve

Spanish Central: Translation of evolve

Nglish: Translation of evolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of evolve for Arabic Speakers

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