Definition of


  1. (verb, creation) make something new, such as a product or a mental or artistic creation
    They developed a new technique
  2. (verb, creation) work out
  3. (verb, change) gain through experience
    Children must develop a sense of right and wrong
    Dave developed leadership qualities in his new position
    develop a passion for painting
  4. (verb, body) come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)
    The patient developed abdominal pains
    I got funny spots all over my body
    Well-developed breasts
  5. (verb, stative) come into existence; take on form or shape
    a love that sprang up from friendship
    the idea for the book grew out of a short story
    An interesting phenomenon uprose
  6. (verb, change) change the use of and make available or usable
    The country developed its natural resources
    The remote areas of the country were gradually built up
  7. (verb, communication) elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses
  8. (verb, cognition) create by training and teaching
    we develop the leaders for the future
  9. (verb, change) be gradually disclosed or unfolded; become manifest
  10. (verb, change) grow, progress, unfold, or evolve through a process of evolution, natural growth, differentiation, or a conducive environment
    The country developed into a mighty superpower
    The embryo develops into a fetus
    This situation has developed over a long time
  11. (verb, change) become technologically advanced
    Viet Nam is modernizing rapidly
  12. (verb, change) cause to grow and differentiate in ways conforming to its natural development
    He developed a new kind of apple
  13. (verb, creation) generate gradually
    develop a market for the new mobile phone
  14. (verb, change) grow emotionally or mature
    When he spent a summer at camp, the boy grew noticeably and no longer showed some of his old adolescent behavior
  15. (verb, perception) make visible by means of chemical solutions
  16. (verb, contact) superimpose a three-dimensional surface on a plane without stretching, in geometry
  17. (verb, competition) move one's pieces into strategically more advantageous positions
  18. (verb, competition) move into a strategically more advantageous position
  19. (verb, change) elaborate by the unfolding of a musical idea and by the working out of the rhythmic and harmonic changes in the theme
  20. (verb, change) happen
    These political movements recrudesce from time to time
  21. (verb, change) expand in the form of a series

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Develop

  1. 1650s, "unroll, unfold," from Fr. developper, replacing English disvelop (1590s, from M.Fr. desveloper), both from O.Fr. desveloper, 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. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Words that sound like Develop

devolve, dflp, diplopia, double up

via soundex() Hash Matches

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Word of the Moment


someone who theorizes (especially in science or art)