v. de·volved, de·volv·ing, de·volves
1. To pass on or delegate to another: The senator devolved the duties of office upon a group of aides.
2. Archaic To cause to roll onward or downward.
1. To be passed on or transferred to another: The burden of proof devolved upon the defendant. The estate devolved to an unlikely heir.
2. To degenerate or deteriorate gradually: After several hours the discussion had devolved into a shouting match.
3. Archaic To roll onward or downward.
[Middle English devolven, to transfer, from Old French devolver, to confer, ascribe, from Latin dēvolvere, to roll down, fall to : dē-, de- + volvere, to roll; see wel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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