devolve de‧volve [dɪˈvɒlv ǁ dɪˈvɑːlv] verb
1. [transitive] to give work, responsibility, or power to someone at a lower or more local level:

• The goal of the welfare bill is to devolve power and responsibility to the states.

2. [intransitive] LAW if land, goods etc devolve to someone they become the property of that person when their owner dies:

• In the event of the guardian dying before the child attains twenty-one years, all of the estate shall devolve upon the said child and be held for him in trust.

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devolve UK US /dɪˈvɒlv/ verb [I or T]
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.

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • devolve — de·volve /di vȯlv, välv/ vi de·volved, de·volv·ing [Medieval Latin devolvi, passive of devolvere to roll down, from Latin, from de down, away + volvere to roll] 1: to pass by transfer or succession the estate devolved to a distant cousin 2: to… …   Law dictionary

  • Devolve (EP) — Devolve EP by Shihad Released 1990 (Vinyl) 1991 (CD) The Devolve EP is now infamous in Shihad fan culture as something of a holy grail. Ori …   Wikipedia

  • devolve — ► VERB 1) transfer (power) to a lower level, especially from central government to local or regional administration. 2) (devolve on/to) (of duties or responsibility) pass to (a deputy or successor). 3) (devolve on/to) Law (of property) pass from… …   English terms dictionary

  • devolve — is a verb of reviving fortunes in the age of political devolution. Its three principal uses are as follows: (1) you devolve powers, authority, etc., on or upon someone, (2) power, authority, etc., devolves on or upon someone, and (3) a right,… …   Modern English usage

  • Devolve — De*volve , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Devolved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Devolving}.] [L. devolvere, devolutum, to roll down; de + volvere to roll down; de + volvere to roll. See {Voluble}.] 1. To roll onward or downward; to pass on. [1913 Webster] Every… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Devolve — De*volve , v. i. To pass by transmission or succession; to be handed over or down; generally with on or upon, sometimes with to or into; as, after the general fell, the command devolved upon (or on) the next officer in rank. [1913 Webster] His… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • devolve on — index delegate Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • devolve — early 15c., to roll down, from L. devolvere to roll down, from de (see DE (Cf. de )) + volvere to roll (see VULVA (Cf. vulva)). Figurative sense of to cause to pass down is from 1520s. Related: Devolved; devolving. Also in same sense was devolute …   Etymology dictionary

  • devolve — [di välv′, divôlv′] vt. devolved, devolving [ME devolven < L devolvere, to roll down < de , down + volvere, to roll: see WALK] to transfer or pass on (duties, responsibilities, etc.) to another or others vi. 1. to pass or be transferred to… …   English World dictionary

  • devolve — de|volve [dıˈvɔlv US dıˈva:lv] v formal [Date: 1400 1500; : Latin; Origin: devolvere, from volvere to roll ] 1.) [I and T] if you devolve responsibility, power etc to a person or group at a lower level, or if it devolves on them, it is given to… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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