develop

verb
de·​vel·​op | \ di-ˈve-ləp How to pronounce develop (audio) , dē-\
developed; developing; develops

Definition of develop

transitive verb

1a : to set forth or make clear by degrees or in detail : expound develop a thesis
b : to make visible or manifest developed the scene in her mind
c dyeing : to treat with an agent to cause the appearance of color
d photography : to subject (exposed material) especially to chemicals in order to produce a visible image develop film also : to make visible by such a method develop pictures
e : to elaborate (a musical idea) by the working out of rhythmic and harmonic changes in the theme (see theme sense 4)
2a : to work out the possibilities of develop an idea
b : to create or produce especially by deliberate effort over time develop new ways of doing business develop software
3a : to make active or promote the growth of developed his muscles developing your mental abilities
b(1) : to make available or usable develop natural resources
(2) : to make suitable for commercial or residential purposes develop land
c games : to move (a chess piece) from the original position to one providing more opportunity for effective use develop the rook
4a : to cause to evolve or unfold gradually : to lead or conduct (something) through a succession of states or changes each of which is preparatory for the next developed his argument
b : to expand by a process of growth working to develop the company further
c biology : to cause to grow and differentiate along lines natural to its kind more rain will be needed to develop the plants properly
d : to become infected or affected by developed pneumonia
5 : to acquire gradually develop an appreciation for ballet

intransitive verb

1 biology

a : to go through a process of natural growth, differentiation (see differentiation sense 3), or evolution by successive changes A blossom develops from a bud.
b : to acquire secondary sex characteristics the year that her breasts fully developed
2 : to become gradually manifest the facts that developed over the next few days
3 : to come into being gradually the situation developing in eastern Europe also : turn out sense 2a it developed that no one had paid the bill

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from develop

developable \ di-​ˈve-​lə-​pə-​bəl How to pronounce developable (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for develop

Synonyms

elaborate, evolve, unfold

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of develop in a Sentence

She has been exercising regularly to develop her back muscles. The story was later developed into a novel. The island has developed its economy around tourism. The course is designed to develop your writing skills. A blossom develops from a bud. The doctor says that the child is developing normally. In this class, we will be learning about how languages develop. Scientists are developing a treatment for the disease. The company has developed a new method for recycling old tires. He develops the concept more fully in his book.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

As the investigation continued, investigators developed probable cause to charge both. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "18-year-old female found slain in back seat of car; 14-year-old accused," 10 June 2019 Known tentatively as Convent Hill South, the 32-story building, would be developed by the city Housing Authority. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Planned downtown high-rise mixing high-rent apartments with affordable units wins Plan Commission approval," 10 June 2019 This is a developing story; check back for updates. NBC News, "Biden drops support for Hyde amendment restricting abortion funding after criticism," 7 June 2019 As an investigative journalist for independent Russian media outlets, Mr Golunov developed a reputation for thorough shoe-leather reporting and scrupulous work with procurement databases to expose state corruption. The Economist, "A journalist’s arrest is a worrying sign of impunity in Russia," 7 June 2019 This new observing mode was developed to study galaxies and star clusters at higher spatial resolution. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Astronomers Snap a Rare Picture of Two Baby Planets," 7 June 2019 Certain vaccines, including those for polio, measles, chickenpox, and rabies, were also developed with the use of stem cells derived from human fetal tissue. Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "Fetal Tissue Research Facts and Why It's so Controversial," 6 June 2019 No stranger to hosting special events like golf tournaments and wine and cigar socials, to name a couple, Avery developed an innovative social networking idea that has taken off within the membership. Helen Williams, nola.com, "Gretna Economic association helps promote locally owned businesses in city," 5 June 2019 Over the next few years, the fast, fluid, and highly technical style of street skating that defined skateboarding in the 1990s was developed in part at EMB. Willy Blackmore, Curbed, "The public spaces that shaped skateboarding," 5 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of develop

1714, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for develop

French développer, from Old French desveloper, desvoluper to unwrap, expose, from des- de- + envoloper to enclose — more at envelop

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about develop

Statistics for develop

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for develop

The first known use of develop was in 1714

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for develop

develop

verb

English Language Learners Definition of develop

: to cause (something) to grow or become bigger or more advanced
: to grow or become bigger or more advanced
: to create (something) over a period of time

develop

verb
de·​vel·​op | \ di-ˈve-ləp How to pronounce develop (audio) \
developed; developing

Kids Definition of develop

1 : to make or become plain little by little : unfold From the microscopic point of Boone's pencil there developed a most amazing scene.— Lynne Reid Banks, The Indian in the Cupboard
2 : to apply chemicals to exposed photographic material (as a film) in order to bring out the picture
3 : to bring out the possibilities of : improve develop an idea
4 : to make more available or usable develop land
5 : to begin to have gradually develop a cough
6 : to begin to exist or be present gradually A romance developed between them.
7 : to create over time develop new medicines
8 : to grow or cause to grow bigger, more mature, or more advanced He's developing his muscles with exercise.

Other Words from develop

developer noun

develop

transitive verb
de·​vel·​op | \ di-ˈvel-əp How to pronounce develop (audio) \

Medical Definition of develop

1a : to make active or promote the growth of developed their muscles by weight lifting
b : to cause to grow and differentiate along lines natural to its kind the zygote is gradually developed into the adult plant or animal
2 : to become infected or affected by developed pneumonia

intransitive verb

1 : to go through a process of natural growth, differentiation, or evolution by successive stages the fever develops normally the embryo develops into a well-formed human being
2 : to acquire secondary sex characteristics she is developing rapidly for a girl of 12

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on develop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with develop

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for develop

Spanish Central: Translation of develop

Nglish: Translation of develop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of develop for Arabic Speakers

Comments on develop

What made you want to look up develop? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!