verb (used with object), e·volved, e·volv·ing.

  1. to develop gradually: to evolve a scheme.
  2. to give off or emit, as odors or vapors.

verb (used without object), e·volved, e·volv·ing.

  1. to come forth gradually into being; develop; undergo evolution: The whole idea evolved from a casual remark.
  2. to gradually change one’s opinions or beliefs: candidates who are still evolving on the issue; an evolved feminist mom.
  3. Biology. to develop by a process of evolution to a different adaptive state or condition: The human species evolved from an ancestor that was probably arboreal.


  1. to develop or cause to develop gradually
  2. (intr) (of animal or plant species) to undergo evolution
  3. (tr) to yield, emit, or give off (heat, gas, vapour, etc)

v.1640s, “to unfold, open out, expand,” from Latin evolvere “to unroll,” especially of books; figuratively “to make clear, disclose; to produce, develop,” from ex- “out” (see ex-) + volvere “to roll” (see volvox). Meaning “to develop by natural processes to a higher state” is from 1832. Related: Evolved; evolving.

  1. To undergo biological evolution, as in the development of new species or new traits within a species.
  2. To develop a characteristic through the process of evolution.
  3. To undergo change and development, as the structures of the universe.

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