View synonyms for develop


[ dih-vel-uhp ]

verb (used with object)

  1. 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.

  2. to cause to grow or expand:

    to develop one's muscles.

  3. to elaborate or expand in detail:

    to develop a theory.

  4. to bring into being or activity; generate; evolve.
  5. 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.
  6. Biology.
    1. to cause to go through the process of natural evolution from a previous and lower stage.
    2. to cause to progress from an embryonic to an adult form.
  7. Mathematics. to express in an extended form, as in a series.
  8. Music. to unfold, by various technical means, the inherent possibilities of (a theme).
  9. Photography.
    1. to render visible (the latent image on an exposed film or the like).
    2. to treat (an exposed film or the like) with chemicals so as to render the latent image visible.
  10. 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.

  11. Mining. to prepare (a new mine) for working by digging access openings and building necessary structures.

verb (used without object)

  1. to grow into a more mature or advanced state; advance; expand:

    She is developing into a good reporter.

  2. to come gradually into existence or operation; be evolved.
  3. to be disclosed; become evident or manifest:

    The plot of the novel developed slowly.

  4. to undergo developing, as a photographic film.
  5. Biology.
    1. to progress from an embryonic to an adult form.
    2. to progress from earlier to later stages of ontogeny or phylogeny.
    3. to reach sexual maturity.


/ dɪˈvɛləp /


  1. to come or bring to a later or more advanced or expanded stage; grow or cause to grow gradually
  2. tr to elaborate or work out in detail
  3. to disclose or unfold (thoughts, a plot, etc) gradually or (of thoughts, etc) to be gradually disclosed or unfolded
  4. to come or bring into existence; generate or be generated

    he developed a new faith in God

  5. introften foll byfrom to follow as a result (of); ensue (from)

    a row developed following the chairman's remarks

  6. tr to contract (a disease or illness)
  7. tr to improve the value or change the use of (land), as by building
  8. tr to exploit or make available the natural resources of (a country or region)
  9. tr photog
    1. 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
    2. to process (photographic material) in order to produce negatives and prints
  10. biology to progress or cause to progress from simple to complex stages in the growth of an individual or the evolution of a species
  11. tr to elaborate upon (a musical theme) by varying the melody, key, etc
  12. tr maths to expand (a function or expression) in the form of a series
  13. tr geometry to project or roll out (a surface) onto a plane without stretching or shrinking any element
  14. chess to bring (a piece) into play from its initial position on the back rank
  15. obsolete.
    tr to disclose or reveal
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Derived Forms

  • deˈvelopable, adjective
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Other Words From

  • de·velop·a·ble adjective
  • de·velop·a·bili·ty noun
  • half-de·veloped adjective
  • hyper·de·veloped adjective
  • misde·velop verb
  • nonde·velop·a·ble adjective
  • prede·velop verb
  • unde·velop·a·ble adjective
  • well-de·veloped adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of develop1

First recorded in 1585–95; from Middle French développer, Old French desveloper, equivalent to des- dis- 1( def ) + voloper “to wrap up”; envelop ( def )
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Word History and Origins

Origin of develop1

C19: from Old French desveloper to unwrap, from des- dis- 1+ veloper to wrap; see envelop
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Example Sentences

People learn to play, the game attracts new talent, and people start developing strategies.

The Democratic presidential nominee said he is “more hopeful than ever in the power of science” to develop a vaccine.

It’s going to be — it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen.

Paulson also worked closely with the costume team to develop a signature look for Mildred Ratched.

All of the world’s major developed currencies have gained against the dollar as have precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.

From Fortune

Though conversational and often witty, his meandering phrases become increasingly unpredictable as they develop.

Therefore, we should—you guessed it—develop the Canadian tar sands and build the Keystone pipeline.

Encompass Develop, Design Construct, LLC A Kentucky-based architect, design and construction service.

I'm not sure whether we'd ever develop two different versions simultaneously.

There are some potential solutions, but all of them mean spending more money to develop new missiles.

We must have motif first, then technique to adapt and adjust expression and to develop facility in the active agents.

A culture which was complete one thousand years before Adam must have needed many thousands of years to develop.

In one case, however, I have succeeded in getting drawings of a little girl who was carefully left to develop her own ideas.

It is much easier to strike quickly than slowly, but practice in the slow movement will develop both muscular and nervous power.

Outside the body the rhabditiform embryos develop into a free-living, sexually differentiated generation.





devel.developable surface