Share this entry

Share this page

devolve

Syllabification: de·volve
Pronunciation: /dəˈvälv
 
/

Definition of devolve in English:

verb

[with object]
1Transfer or delegate (power) to a lower level, especially from central government to local or regional administration: measures to devolve power to the provinces (as adjective devolved) devolved and decentralized government
More example sentences
  • The State Government devolving its powers on local self-governments is not to be criticised.
  • Let's imagine a situation where regional assemblies over England decide to pursue the same line as London, and the national agencies are broken up so as to devolve power to local decision-makers.
  • He said: ‘If you are going to devolve power to local communities, giving them a list of who should be involved is counter-productive.’
Synonyms
delegate, depute, pass (down/on), download, hand down/over/on, transfer, transmit, assign, consign, convey, entrust, turn over, give, cede, surrender, relinquish, deliver;
bestow, grant
1.1 [no object] (devolve on/upon/to) (Of duties or responsibility) pass to (a body or person at a lower level): his duties devolved on a comrade
More example sentences
  • A committee or coalition cannot instigate true love; the responsibility for this devolves to substantial human exemplars.
  • The governor's call for a non-binding referendum means this responsibility will ultimately devolve upon us.
  • I'm not saying that sexual responsibility devolves to women.
1.2 [no object] (devolve into) formal Degenerate or be split into: the Empire devolved into separate warring states
More example sentences
  • Worse, fullbacks have devolved into one-dimensional blockers who may only see action on one-fifth of a team's snaps - and they're lucky to touch the ball at all.
  • If the detectives are of differing abilities it devolves into a situation where one player is deciding the best move for everybody else.
  • Unfortunately, that intensity's exactly what's lacking in Yellowknife, a stylish road movie whose early promise devolves into a hash of bad sex and worse plotting.

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'roll down'): from Latin devolvere, from de- 'down' + volvere 'to roll'.

Derivatives

devolvement

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Since July 2000 we've seen the devolvement of health trusts and their staff into primary care trusts.
  • Let's grasp it and show the country that, with an elected mayor and a devolvement of power and authority to local level, Bolton can lead the way.
  • Firstly, whether that level of devolvement can be maintained for the future, looking at the great drain that it is on resources.

Definition of devolve in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pərt
adjective
lively; cheerful