When something evolves, it changes, or develops over time, like your taste in music and clothes, which evolve as you get older.

Evolve comes from the Latin word Ä“volvere, "to unroll," the perfect image to keep in mind when thinking of this verb. When something is unrolling or unraveling, it is doing so gradually, not all at once. Evolve describes a development that is taking its time to reach its final destination. Think change with a speed limit. Your taste in music evolved from the nursery rhymes you loved as a little kid to whatever you like today. Even places can evolve, like the old-fashioned coffee shops that evolved into Internet cafes as people began to bring their laptops with them.

Definitions of evolve

v undergo development or evolution

“Modern man evolved a long time ago”
differentiate, specialise, specialize, speciate
evolve so as to lead to a new species or develop in a way most suited to the environment
come from
Type of:
grow, progress, unfold, or evolve through a process of evolution, natural growth, differentiation, or a conducive environment

v gain through experience

acquire, develop
acquire, develop, get, grow, produce
come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)
elaborate by the unfolding of a musical idea and by the working out of the rhythmic and harmonic changes in the theme
develop, explicate, formulate
elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses
generate gradually
Type of:
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v work out

develop, germinate
make something new, such as a product or a mental or artistic creation
Type of:
create by mental act, create mentally
create mentally and abstractly rather than with one's hands

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.