devolution

Devolution is a process of decline. Something has gone from great to good, good to bad, or excellent all the way to horrible.

If you know that evolution refers to how smaller or lesser creatures evolved into more complex beings, than you have a great clue to what devolution means. When devolution occurs, things have gone in a negative direction. If a rich person loses all their money, that's devolution. If a championship basketball team suddenly has a losing record, that's devolution. This word also refers to a central government delegating authority to a smaller body, such as a regional government.

Definitions of devolution
  1. noun
    the process of declining from a higher to a lower level of effective power or vitality or essential quality
    synonyms: degeneration
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    Antonyms:
    development, evolution
    a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage)
    types:
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    attack
    the onset of a corrosive or destructive process (as by a chemical agent)
    obsolescence
    the process of becoming obsolete; falling into disuse or becoming out of date
    macular degeneration
    eye disease caused by degeneration of the cells of the macula lutea and results in blurred vision; can cause blindness
    AMD, age-related macular degeneration
    macular degeneration that is age-related
    type of:
    physical process, process
    a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states
  2. noun
    the delegation of authority (especially from a central to a regional government)
    synonyms: devolvement
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    type of:
    delegating, delegation, deputation, relegating, relegation
    authorizing subordinates to make certain decisions
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