(||De*voir") n. [F., fr. L. debere to owe. See Due.] Duty; service owed; hence, due act of civility
or respect; now usually in the plural; as, they paid their devoirs to the ladies. "Do now your devoid,
young knights!" Chaucer.
(Dev"o*lute) v. t. [L. devolutus, p. p. of devolvere. See Devolve.] To devolve. [Obs.] Foxe.
(Dev`o*lu"tion) n. [LL. devolutio: cf. F. dévolution.]
1. The act of rolling down. [R.]
The devolution of earth down upon the valleys.Woodward.
2. Transference from one person to another; a passing or devolving upon a successor.
The devolution of the crown through a . . . channel known and conformable to old constitutional requisitions.De Quincey.
(De*volve") v. t. [imp. & p. p. Devolved ; p. pr. & vb. n. Devolving.] [L. devolvere, devolutum,
to roll down; de + volvere to roll down; de + volvere to roll. See Voluble.]
1. To roll onward or downward; to pass on.
Every headlong streamAkenside.
Devolves its winding waters to the main.
Devolved his rounded periods.Tennyson.
2. To transfer from one person to another; to deliver over; to hand down; generally with upon, sometimes
with to or into.
They devolved a considerable share of their power upon their favorite.Burke.
They devolved their whole authority into the hands of the council of sixty.Addison.
(De*volve"), v. i. To pass by transmission or succession; to be handed over or down; generally
with on or upon, sometimes with to or into; as, after the general fell, the command devolved upon (or
on) the next officer in rank.
His estate . . . devolved to Lord Somerville.Johnson.
(De*volve"ment) n. The act or process of devolving;; devolution.
(De"von) n. One of a breed of hardy cattle originating in the country of Devon, England. Those
of pure blood have a deep red color. The small, longhorned variety, called North Devons, is distinguished
by the superiority of its working oxen.
Devonian age (Geol.), the age next older than the Carboniferous and later than the Silurian; called
also the Age of fishes. The various strata of this age compose the Devonian formation or system, and
include the old red sandstone of Great Britain. They contain, besides plants and numerous invertebrates,
the bony portions of many large and remarkable fishes of extinct groups. See the Diagram under Geology.
(De*vo"ni*an) a. (Geol.) Of or pertaining to Devon or Devonshire in England; as, the Devonian
rocks, period, or system.
(De*vo"ni*an), n. The Devonian age or formation.
(Dev`o*ra"tion) n. [L. devoratio. See Devour.] The act of devouring. [Obs.] Holinshed.