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See also: devolvé
- (obsolete, transitive) To roll (something) down; to unroll. [15th–19th c.]
- (intransitive) To be inherited by someone else; to pass down upon the next person in a succession, especially through failure or loss of an earlier holder. [from 16th c.]
- 1932, Duff Cooper, Talleyrand, Folio Society, published 2010, page 4:
- an accident […] rendered him permanently lame, and therefore unfitted him, in the opinion of his parents, to inherit his father's many titles, which, it was then arranged, should devolve upon his younger brother.
- (transitive) To delegate (a responsibility, duty, etc.) on or upon someone. [from 17th c.]
- 1704, Joseph Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy:
- They devolved their whole authority into the hands of the council of sixty.
- 1756, Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful:
- An artful man became popular, the people had power in their hands, and they devolved a considerable share of their power upon their favourite […].
- 2020 August 26, “Network News: Shapps orders rapid review of flash flood resilience from NR”, in Rail, page 8:
- Shapps retains responsibility for rail safety in Scotland, with only the operation of track and train devolved to Transport Scotland.
- (intransitive) To fall as a duty or responsibility on or upon someone. [from 18th c.]
- For the nonce he was rather nonplussed but inasmuch as the duty plainly devolved upon him to take some measures on the subject he pondered suitable ways and means during which Stephen repeatedly yawned.
- (intransitive) To degenerate; to break down. [from 18th c.]
- A discussion about politics may devolve into a shouting match.
- The verb is sometimes used in the context of biology (in sense 5, "to degenerate; to break down"), but generally not by scientists as it is highly subjective.
to be inherited by someone
to delegate something to someone else
- (Classical) IPA(key): /deːˈu̯ol.u̯e/, [d̪eːˈu̯ɔɫ̪u̯ɛ]
- (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /deˈvol.ve/, [d̪eˈvɔlve]