Definition of evolve in English:

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Pronunciation: /ēˈvälv/


1Develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form: [no object]: the company has evolved into a major chemical manufacturer the Gothic style evolved steadily and naturally from the Romanesque [with object]: each school must evolve its own way of working
More example sentences
  • His son Charles joined the firm at the age of 13 and the business gradually evolved into providing pet and garden supplies.
  • The delicate ceramic pieces began with a simple meaning and gradually evolved into something deeper.
  • Trains on railways such as these moved slowly, and the footpaths alongside them gradually evolved into roads.
1.1(With reference to an organism or biological feature) develop over successive generations, especially as a result of natural selection: [no object]: the populations are cut off from each other and evolve independently
More example sentences
  • If all organisms evolved from a single common ancestor, what do these groups actually represent?
  • It is now thought that the genes for the rod and cone pigments evolved from a common ancestral gene.
  • By the late Oligocene, the two modern lineages of cetaceans had evolved from archaeocete ancestors.
2 [with object] Chemistry Give off (gas or heat).
Example sentences
  • Tertiary amines dissolve in nitrous acid without evolving any gas.
  • By convention, the change in heat is positive when the system absorbs energy and negative when the system evolves heat.
  • The chemical reactions by which they do this evolve gas, which is why peas and beans cause wind.



Example sentences
  • Infrastructure built on evolvable formats will always be partially incomplete, partially wrong and ultimately better designed than its competition.
  • Although it looks like a load of chips, to put it simplistically, the ability to detect faults and attempt recovery and to produce evolvable hardware is at the cutting edge.
  • For future missions, NASA needs machines that are resilient, evolvable, self-sufficient, ultra-efficient, and autonomous.


Pronunciation: /əˈvälvmənt/ Pronunciation: /ēˈvälvmənt/ Pronunciation: /əˈvôlvmənt/ Pronunciation: /ēˈvôlvmənt/
Example sentences
  • I believe that such tolerances and freedoms are the natural evolvement of successful free-market advances.
  • Their concerns have to be built into the evolvement of any development plan.
  • The theory of evolution is seen as tracing the historical evolvement of those structures or competencies that formal pragmatics describes as universal features of language use.


Early 17th century (in the general sense 'make more complex, develop'): from Latin evolvere, from e- (variant of ex-) 'out of' + volvere 'to roll'.

  • The word evolve was first used in the general sense ‘make more complex, develop’. It comes from Latin evolvere, from e- (a variant of ex-) ‘out of’ and volvere ‘to roll’, also the source of evolution, from the same period. Early senses related to physical movement, first recorded as a tactical ‘wheeling’ manoeuvre in the realignment of troops or ships. Current senses stem from a notion of ‘opening out’ and ‘unfolding’, giving rise to a general sense of ‘development’.

Words that rhyme with evolve

absolve, devolve, exsolve, involve, revolve, solve

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·volve

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