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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce devolve (audio)

Dictionary definition of devolve

To transfer or delegate responsibilities or powers to a lower level or lower-ranked person.
"The government chose to devolve control over certain policies to local municipalities."

Detailed meaning of devolve

In a political context, devolve refers to the transfer of power or authority from a central government to a regional or local government. This can happen through constitutional means, such as through the creation of autonomous regions or states, or through the decentralization of government services.

In legal context, devolve refers to the transfer of property, rights or titles to another person, usually through inheritance or upon the death of the previous holder.

In biology, devolve refers to the process of species or individuals regressing or becoming less complex over time.

In a more general sense, devolve can mean to deteriorate, decline or to deteriorate to a lower or worse state, it can also mean to pass on responsibilities or duties to someone else.

In short, devolve is a verb that means to transfer or assign responsibilities, power, property, or rights to a lower level or to a lower-ranked person. It can also refer to the process of regressing or deteriorating over time.

Example sentences containing devolve

1. The manager decided to devolve some of his duties to his capable assistant.
2. The board of directors voted to devolve decision-making authority to regional branches.
3. In times of crisis, leadership may need to devolve responsibility to a trusted team member.
4. The CEO sought to devolve administrative tasks to streamline the company's operations.
5. As the organization grew, it became necessary to devolve some managerial tasks to department heads.
6. The professor decided to devolve grading assignments to teaching assistants.

History and etymology of devolve

The verb 'devolve' has its roots in Latin, specifically from the word 'devolvere.' In Latin, 'de' means 'down from,' and 'volvere' means 'to roll' or 'to turn.' Therefore, 'devolve' can be etymologically understood as 'to roll or turn down from a higher position.' This term is commonly used to describe the process of transferring or delegating responsibilities, powers, or authority from a higher or central level to a lower-ranked person, entity, or organization. The etymology of 'devolve' emphasizes the idea of a downward shift or distribution of control, reflecting the transfer of duties and decision-making from a higher authority to a subordinate or decentralized level.

Quiz: Find the meaning of devolve

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Further usage examples of devolve

1. The monarch was reluctant to devolve power to the parliament.
2. The company's restructuring plan aimed to devolve decision-making to smaller teams.
3. The council voted to devolve budgetary control to individual departments.
4. The coach chose to devolve play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator.
5. The principal decided to devolve disciplinary matters to the school's deans.
6. The central government agreed to devolve more authority to regional authorities.
7. To foster a sense of ownership, the organization opted to devolve project management responsibilities to its employees.
8. The committee agreed to devolve responsibility for event planning to a dedicated subcommittee.
9. The captain decided to devolve leadership responsibilities to the most experienced team members.
10. The company's CEO decided to devolve decision-making power to division heads.
11. The mayor's plan was to devolve urban development decisions to local communities.
12. In times of crisis, the military may devolve command authority to lower-ranking officers.
13. The university president sought to devolve administrative responsibilities to deans and department chairs.
14. The manager decided to devolve some tasks to his capable team members.
15. Authority must devolve to local governments for effective decision-making.
16. It's essential to devolve power to empower grassroots movements.
17. The CEO's plan is to devolve control to regional offices soon.
18. The board voted to devolve responsibility for the project.
19. The government aims to devolve more authority to municipalities.
20. Let's devolve project management to the skilled team leader.
21. The committee will devolve decision-making to subcommittees.
22. The teacher will devolve grading duties to assistants.
23. Companies often devolve HR functions to streamline operations.
24. It's time to devolve control and foster innovation at lower levels.



transfer, centralize, retain, consolidate


SAT 4 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Obligation and Allegiance, Leadership and Governance

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