v. e·volved, e·volv·ing, e·volves
a. To develop or achieve gradually: evolve a style of one's own.
b. To work (something) out; devise: "the schemes he evolved to line his purse" (S.J. Perelman).
2. Biology To develop (a characteristic) by evolutionary processes.
3. To give off; emit.
1. To undergo gradual change; develop: an amateur acting group that evolved into a theatrical company.
2. Biology To arise or transform through evolutionary processes.
[Latin ēvolvere, to unroll : ē-, ex-, ex- + volvere, to roll; see wel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.