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involution Line breaks: in|vo¦lu¦tion
Pronunciation: /ɪnvəˈl(j)uːʃ(ə)n/

Definition of involution in English:


1 [mass noun] Physiology The shrinkage of an organ in old age or when inactive, e.g. of the womb after childbirth.
Example sentences
  • Routine sections revealed normal thymic tissue with fatty involution and no evidence of tumor.
  • As gastrulation proceeds, the region of involution spreads laterally and vegetally so that involution involves the vegetal endoderm and so forms a circle around a plug of yolky cells.
  • Gradual involution of the Bartholin's glands can occur by the time a woman reaches 30 years of age.
2 Mathematics A function, transformation, or operator that is equal to its inverse, i.e. which gives the identity when applied to itself.
Example sentences
  • In his text Traité de géométrie in 1852 Chasles discusses cross ratio, pencils and involutions, all notions which he introduced.
  • The book also treats von Staudt's theory of complex elements as defined by real involutions.
  • The manner of their joining reflects the involutions of a Mobius strip.
3 [mass noun] formal The process of complicating something, or the state of being complicated: periods of artistic involution
More example sentences
  • Urban annotation thus becomes a process of involution, an intensive rather than an extensive phenomenon: a potential anti-sprawl.
  • And like, a dear friend of mine, a lawyer had said, ‘that we should be involved in the process of evolution and not in the process of involution.’
  • In other words, it is a process of involution with Puram Shiva getting involved increasing with each step and descending to the stage where it look as physical.


Pronunciation: /ˌɪnvəˈl(j)uːʃ(ə)n(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • This technique allows for the possibility of improving breast aesthetics in women with involutional (ie, decrease in size of the breasts) changes after childbirth or menopause.
  • The more abundant cellular infiltrate in the tumors from the 2 older groups might reflect an involutional process comparable to the involutional changes of the breast parenchyma in postpartum and menopausal women.
  • A PET Scan showed globally decreased radiotracer uptake within the brain, bilaterally, consistent with involutional change and prior radiation therapy.


Late Middle English (in the sense ( 'part) curling inwards'): from Latin involutio(n-), from involvere (see involve).

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