Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “devolve”

devolve

verb [I or T]
 
 
/dɪˈvɒlv/
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.
(Definition of devolve from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of devolve?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “devolve” in other dictionaries

Translations of “devolve”

Word of the Day

mutant

an organism that is different from others of its type because of a permanent change in its genes

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More