verb (used with object)
- 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.
- 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.
verb (used without object)
- to progress from an embryonic to an adult form.
- to progress from earlier to later stages of ontogeny or phylogeny.
- to reach sexual maturity.
- developable surface,
- developing agent
Origin of develop
- 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
Word Origin for develop
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.