de·​vel·​op·​men·​tal | \dē-ˌve-ləp-ˈmen-tᵊl \

Definition of developmental 

1a : of, relating to, or being development developmental processes developmental biology broadly : experimental sense 2 developmental aircraft

b : serving economic development developmental highways

2 : designed to assist growth or bring about improvement (as of a skill) developmental toys

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Other Words from developmental

developmentally \-​tᵊl-​ē \ adverb

Synonyms for developmental


experimental, pilot, trial

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Examples of developmental in a Sentence

A drop in temperature can slow the plant's developmental process. a child with developmental abnormalities My theory is still in its developmental stage.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Air Force has now awarded developmental deals for both systems to Lockheed. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Air Force cites need to defend against enemy's hypersonic weapons," 19 Sep. 2018 In 2015, the company won a million-dollar contract from DARPA, the Defense Department’s developmental wing. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Plasma Thrusters Are About To Have Their Moment," 30 Aug. 2018 In Palo Alto, California, doctors told Olenka Villarreal that her young daughter, Ava, needed vestibular movement—like swinging—to help with her significant developmental challenges. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Why cities need accessible playgrounds," 20 July 2018 Last summer, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry played in a tournament on the Tour, the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Why Is Tony Romo Playing on the PGA Tour?," 21 Mar. 2018 Gilliland and Burton have dominated the K&N Pro Series East, a developmental circuit that has produced Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Craven and other Cup racers. David Whitley,, "Sauter holds off the truck stampede at Daytona," 16 Feb. 2018 Air pollution, for example, is particularly hazardous to children, exacerbating infant mortality, asthma, and developmental delays. Julia Belluz, Vox, "The Trump administration’s attack on children’s health protections," 27 Sep. 2018 Steadily improving, Appleby then worked on pit crews for truck series and Xfinity series races, considered NASCAR's developmental leagues. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Former U of L punter Josh Appleby now holds vital role for NASCAR team," 13 July 2018 Through it all, the affable playmaker remained in contact with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, leading to an opportunity in 2016 to become an assistant coach for the team's developmental-league affiliate, the G League Sioux Falls Skyforce. Ira Winderman,, "Anthony Carter still scrapping for Heat, this time in coach mode," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'developmental.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of developmental

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for developmental

The first known use of developmental was in 1849

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English Language Learners Definition of developmental

: of or relating to the growth or development of someone or something

: designed to help a child grow or learn

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