\ 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

Watch the evolving spread between port prices in the U.S. and Brazil to gauge the first-order impact of the trade war on American farmers. Fortune, "Charting the Trade-War Fallout Through Commodities," 12 July 2018 Cancer care has been evolving away from chemotherapy — older drugs with harsh side effects — in favor of gene-targeting therapies, hormone blockers and immune system treatments. Marilynn Marchione, STAT, "Many breast cancer patients can skip chemo, big study finds," 3 June 2018 Through the intertwined lives of the extended Zhen family and staff, Tan deftly explores evolving immigrant identity, layers of ex-pat privilege, tenacious gender disparity, family expectations and obligations. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, "'What We Were Promised' depicts post-Mao China in a deft debut novel set in Shanghai," 13 July 2018 When enjoying its evolved arboreal lifestyle, however, the sloth is a genius. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, "A Look at the Inner Lives of 13 Species of Animals You Think You Know," 13 July 2018 While the tools and technology of justice have evolved, in cases involving personal violence, the State must have the witness to prosecute. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Charlamagne Tha God's 2001 Rape Case Will Not Be Reopened," 12 July 2018 Powell saw that arid cultures stood or fell — and mostly fell — not on their absolute amounts of water, but on how equitably political and economic systems divided limited resources — and could evolve in the face of climatic and societal changes. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 Instead, the show ends up focusing on easier stories: material about the white male billionaire Bash Howard (Chris Lowell), for example, and Sam’s evolving relationship with his daughter Justine (Britt Baron). Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "Marc Maron Is Great in GLOW, and Maybe That’s a Problem," 29 June 2018 Sales have skyrocketed, the customer base has expanded and the products have evolved to become safer, more professional looking and to serve events beyond the one holiday, retailers and industry experts said. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Fireworks retailers prepare for July 4: 'Most of the people are looking for loud and colorful'," 29 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

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evolve

The first known use of evolve was in 1772

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More Definitions for evolve



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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