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 ─ôvolvere, "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.