evolve

verb
\ i-ˈvälv How to pronounce evolve (audio) , -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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from evolve

evolvable \ i-​ˈväl-​və-​bəl How to pronounce evolvable (audio) , -​ˈvȯl-​ , ē-​ also  -​ˈvä-​və-​ or  -​ˈvȯ-​və-​ \ adjective
evolvement \ i-​ˈvälv-​mənt How to pronounce evolvement (audio) , -​ˈvȯlv-​ , ē-​ also  -​ˈväv-​ or  -​ˈvȯv-​ \ noun

Synonyms for evolve

Synonyms

develop, elaborate, unfold

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

As engineers work to make energy systems more efficient and affordable, some are finding inspiration in nature. Organisms and natural systems have had some 3.8 billion years to evolve. Shweta Narayan, Smithsonian, "How Engineers of New Energy Technology Are Taking Cues From Nature," 31 Aug. 2019 Star Joaquin Phoenix, who is garnering Oscar buzz for his performance, said his character was constantly evolving throughout the shoot. Washington Post, "Phillips, Phoenix discuss violence and identity in ‘Joker’," 31 Aug. 2019 Players have to make sure this ancient ancestor thrives in the wild and evolves. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey’ brings a different past to life," 30 Aug. 2019 After animals became more complex, plant eating likely evolved separately several times, Wiens says. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "The world’s first animal was probably a carnivore," 30 Aug. 2019 Emil was a true gentleman with a heart of gold and evolved spirit. courant.com, "Emil F. Nace," 30 Aug. 2019 As the nation came to terms with its evolving role in the wake of breakneck industrialization and two world wars, Wright’s buildings soon became a distinct, comprehensive visual language. William To, azcentral, "Love in the time of loss: ‘Shining Brow’ and the life of Frank Lloyd Wright," 30 Aug. 2019 Just as my relationships with my friends, my family, and my husband have evolved over the years, this one has to as well. Javacia Harris Bowser, al, "Opinion: How to love food and make it love you back," 29 Aug. 2019 Antjuan was interested in becoming a special ed teacher, but his plans have evolved. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "MSU player's dad lived secret life as drug dealer. Now he cheers for son from prison," 29 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about evolve

Statistics for evolve

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evolve

The first known use of evolve was in 1772

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for evolve

evolve

verb

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

evolve

verb
\ i-ˈvälv How to pronounce evolve (audio) \
evolved; evolving

Kids Definition of evolve

: to change or develop gradually

evolve

verb
\ i-ˈvälv, -ˈvȯlv How to pronounce evolve (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on evolve

What made you want to look up evolve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!