[syn: devolution, devolvement]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Devolution \Dev`o*lu"tion\, n. [LL. devolutio: cf. F.
1. The act of rolling down. [R.]
The devolution of earth down upon the valleys.
2. Transference from one person to another; a passing or
devolving upon a successor.
The devolution of the crown through a . . . channel
known and conformable to old constitutional
requisitions. --De Quincey.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: the process of declining from a higher to a lower level of
effective power or vitality or essential quality [syn:
degeneration, devolution] [ant: development,
2: the delegation of authority (especially from a central to a
regional government) [syn: devolution, devolvement]
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
DEVOLUTION, eccl. law. The transfer, by forfeiture, of a right and power
which a person has to another, on account of some act or negligence of the
person who is vested with such right or power: for example, when a person
has the right of preseptation, and he does not present within the time
prescribed, the right devolves on his next immediate superior. Ayl. Par.