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Definitions of devolve

  1. To roll down; to pass from one to another; to fall by succession. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  2. To roll onward or downward; to pass on. Webster Dictionary DB
  3. To transfer from one person to another; to deliver over; to hand down; - generally with upon, sometimes with to or into. Webster Dictionary DB
  4. To hand on or down; to pass or transfer from one to another; transmit; as, to devolve a duty upon another. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  5. To roll down: to hand down: to deliver over. The american dictionary of the english language. By Daniel Lyons. Published 1899.
  6. 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. Webster Dictionary DB
  7. To be handed down or over; to be transferred or transmitted; as, the duty devolved upon him. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  8. To roll down: to fall or pass over. The american dictionary of the english language. By Daniel Lyons. Published 1899.
  9. To pass to; fall. The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894.
  10. grow worse; "Her condition deteriorated"; "Conditions in the slums degenerated"; "The discussion devolved into a shouting match" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  11. To pass to a successor or substitute; sometimes followed by to, oftener by on or upon. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  12. To pass over from one person to another, as by succession; to deliver over to a successor; to fall upon or come to as by right. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

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Usage examples for devolve

  1. In sorrow and mortification, under the failure of all their labors to redeem the honor and prosperity of their country, it is a cheering consolation to them that the termination of their own official existence is at hand; that they are even now about to return to receive the sentence of their constituents upon themselves; that the legislative power of the Union, crippled and disabled as it may now be, is about to pass, renovated and revivified by the will of the people, into other hands, upon whom will devolve the task of providing that remedy for the public distempers which their own honest and agonizing energies have in vain endeavored to supply. – Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams. by Josiah Quincy
  2. Well no, upon my word, he did not teach us that, so that the task of distinguishing between good and bad must devolve on ourselves. – The Memorabilia Recollections of Socrates by Xenophon
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