› POLITICS to give power or a responsibility to a person or group that is at a lower level or has less authority: devolve sth to sb/sth Spending under these budget items must be devolved to local offices. The constitutional changes to devolve power to local authorities will go ahead.
› to change something large into several smaller parts of a similar type: devolve sth into sth A key proposal would devolve the central investigative unit into six regional bodies.
› to change from one thing to another, often to something bad: The stage is set for the country to devolve into military dictatorship, and few seem to care.
› LAW to become a person's property after the owner dies: devolve to sb Rights to the land devolve to one's heirs upon death.