Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To develop or achieve gradually: evolve a style of one's own.
  • transitive v. To work (something) out; devise: "the schemes he evolved to line his purse” ( S.J. Perelman).
  • transitive v. Biology To develop (a characteristic) by evolutionary processes.
  • transitive v. To give off; emit.
  • intransitive v. To undergo gradual change; develop: an amateur acting group that evolved into a theatrical company.
  • intransitive v. Biology To develop or arise through evolutionary processes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To move in regular procession through a system.
  • v. To develop.
  • v. Of a population, to change genetic composition over successive generations through the process of evolution.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To become open, disclosed, or developed; to pass through a process of evolution.
  • transitive v. To unfold or unroll; to open and expand; to disentangle and exhibit clearly and satisfactorily; to develop; to derive; to educe.
  • transitive v. To throw out; to emit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To unfold; open and expand.
  • To unfold or develop by a process of natural, consecutive, or logical growth from, or as if from, a germ, latent state, or plan.
  • To unfold by elaboration; work out; bring forth or make manifest by action of any kind: as, to evolve a drama from an anecdote; to evolve the truth from a mass of confused evidence; to evolve bad odors by stirring a muck-heap.
  • To open or disclose itself; become developed.
  • In chem., geol., etc., to give off or make manifest by separation from a mixture or a compound: most commonly used of a gas or vapor: as hydrochloric-acid gas evolved from a mixture of common salt and sulphuric acid.
  • In mathematics, to extract (roots).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. work out
  • v. gain through experience
  • v. undergo development or evolution

Etymologies

Latin ēvolvere, to unroll : ē-, ex-, ex- + volvere, to roll; see wel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ēvolvere, present active infinitive of ēvolvō ("unroll, unfold"), from ē ("out of"), short form of ex, + volvō ("roll"). (Wiktionary)

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