[dih-vel-uh p]

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Origin of develop

1585–95; < Middle French développer, Old French desveloper, equivalent to des- dis-1 + voloper to wrap up; see envelop
Related formsde·vel·op·a·ble, adjectivede·vel·op·a·bil·i·ty, nounhalf-de·vel·oped, adjectivehy·per·de·vel·oped, adjectivemis·de·vel·op, verbnon·de·vel·op·a·ble, adjectivepre·de·vel·op, verbun·de·vel·op·a·ble, adjectivewell-de·vel·oped, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for well-developed

Contemporary Examples of well-developed

  • Piracy has transformed into a well-developed business and I am part of that business.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Pirate Negotiator

    Caitlin Dickson

    November 14, 2013

  • Three months ago, what was on display was the well-developed British talent for carping, sneering, and nitpicking.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Britain Gets Its Groove Back

    Peter Popham

    September 16, 2012

  • Members of the high court have well-developed legal philosophies.

  • As a candidate, he had no well-developed policy on bank bailouts, fiscal stimulus, or trillion-dollar-plus deficits.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Palin's Brilliant 2012 Play

    Joe Mathews

    July 7, 2009

Historical Examples of well-developed

British Dictionary definitions for well-developed


adjective (well developed when postpositive)

carefully or extensively elaborated or evolved



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
  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
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
Derived Formsdevelopable, adjective

Word Origin for develop

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

Word Origin and History for well-developed



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for well-developed




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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.