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

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 immune system acts up, some people can even develop new allergic reactions, Harkness said. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, "Headache? Hair loss? Teeth grinding? Coronavirus stress hits hard," 18 Oct. 2020 For nearly four years, the social media companies have had time to develop content policies to be ready for the 2020 election, especially after Russian operatives were found to have used the sites to sow discord in the 2016 election. Kate Conger, New York Times, "In Reversal, Twitter Is No Longer Blocking New York Post Article," 16 Oct. 2020 But no one can predict who will develop dangerous or deadly COVID-10, not to mention devastating longer term effects. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Oct. 2-8," 16 Oct. 2020 Airbus has already been commissioned to develop a service module for Artemis’s Orion spacecraft, providing power and support to a crew module that’s being built by Lockheed Martin Corp. Charlotte Ryan, Bloomberg.com, "European Moon-Lander Project Pits Airbus Against Thales," 14 Oct. 2020 But beyond Kasavin’s lifelong fascination with it, Greek myths gave the writers some room to further develop the family dynamic of the cast, without needing to explain every facet of their life. Washington Post, "Here’s how ‘Hades’ makes going back to hell feel fresh," 13 Oct. 2020 Mary Laskin, a nurse case-manager at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, has been teaching her chronic pain patients laughter exercises alongside practices designed to develop other positive mental states, like gratitude and forgiveness. Richard Schiffman, Star Tribune, "No joke – laughter is healthy," 9 Oct. 2020 Education may also help young adults develop those values and skills, and here, institutions can make a difference. Casey Dominguez, Fortune, "No more gimmicks: How to actually get more young people voting," 8 Oct. 2020 Over the course of the next year, the city will develop plans for management and operations for golf, tennis, aquatics, and the clubhouse, Singer said in an email to residents Wednesday evening. Austen Erblat, sun-sentinel.com, "The Boca Country Club was just donated to the city. It’ll mean more golf for residents.," 7 Oct. 2020

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

Time Traveler for develop

Time Traveler

The first known use of develop was in 1714

See more words from the same year

Statistics for develop

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Develop.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/develop. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for develop

develop

verb
How to pronounce develop (audio)

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
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

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!