verb (used with object)
- to bring out the capabilities or possibilities of; bring to a more advanced or effective state: to develop natural resources; to develop one’s musical talent.
- to cause to grow or expand: to develop one’s muscles.
- to elaborate or expand in detail: to develop a theory.
- to bring into being or activity; generate; evolve.
- Drafting. to transfer the details of (a more or less two-dimensional design, pattern, or the like) from one surface, especially one that is prismatic or cylindrical, onto another, usually planar, in such a way that the distances between points remain the same.
- to cause to go through the process of natural evolution from a previous and lower stage.
- to cause to progress from an embryonic to an adult form.
- Mathematics. to express in an extended form, as in a series.
- Music. to unfold, by various technical means, the inherent possibilities of (a theme).
- to render visible (the latent image on an exposed film or the like).
- to treat (an exposed film or the like) with chemicals so as to render the latent image visible.
- Chess. to bring (a piece) into effective play, especially during the initial phase of a game when pieces are moved from their original position on the board: He developed his rook by castling.
- Mining. to prepare (a new mine) for working by digging access openings and building necessary structures.
verb (used without object)
- to grow into a more mature or advanced state; advance; expand: She is developing into a good reporter.
- to come gradually into existence or operation; be evolved.
- to be disclosed; become evident or manifest: The plot of the novel developed slowly.
- to undergo developing, as a photographic film.
- to progress from an embryonic to an adult form.
- to progress from earlier to later stages of ontogeny or phylogeny.
- to reach sexual maturity.
- to come or bring to a later or more advanced or expanded stage; grow or cause to grow gradually
- (tr) to elaborate or work out in detail
- to disclose or unfold (thoughts, a plot, etc) gradually or (of thoughts, etc) to be gradually disclosed or unfolded
- to come or bring into existence; generate or be generatedhe developed a new faith in God
- (intr often foll by from) to follow as a result (of); ensue (from)a row developed following the chairman’s remarks
- (tr) to contract (a disease or illness)
- (tr) to improve the value or change the use of (land), as by building
- (tr) to exploit or make available the natural resources of (a country or region)
- (tr) photog
- to treat (film, plate, or paper previously exposed to light, or the latent image in such material) with chemical solutions in order to produce a visible image
- to process (photographic material) in order to produce negatives and prints
- biology to progress or cause to progress from simple to complex stages in the growth of an individual or the evolution of a species
- (tr) to elaborate upon (a musical theme) by varying the melody, key, etc
- (tr) maths to expand (a function or expression) in the form of a series
- (tr) geometry to project or roll out (a surface) onto a plane without stretching or shrinking any element
- chess to bring (a piece) into play from its initial position on the back rank
- (tr) obsolete to disclose or reveal
1650s, “unroll, unfold,” from French développer, replacing English disvelop (1590s, from Middle French desveloper), both from Old French desveloper “unwrap, unfurl, unveil; reveal the meaning of, explain,” from des- “undo” + veloper “wrap up,” of uncertain origin, possibly Celtic or Germanic. Modern figurative use is 18c. The photographic sense is from 1845; the real estate sense is from 1890.
- To progress from earlier to later stages of a life cycle.
- To progress from earlier to later or from simpler to more complex stages of evolution.
- To aid in the growth of; strengthen.
- To grow by degrees into a more advanced or mature state.
- To become affected with a disease; contract.