What does develop mean?

Definitions for develop
dɪˈvɛl əpde·vel·op

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word develop.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. developverb

    make something new, such as a product or a mental or artistic creation

    "Her company developed a new kind of building material that withstands all kinds of weather"; "They developed a new technique"

  2. evolve, germinate, developverb

    work out

    "We have developed a new theory of evolution"

  3. develop, acquire, evolveverb

    gain through experience

    "I acquired a strong aversion to television"; "Children must develop a sense of right and wrong"; "Dave developed leadership qualities in his new position"; "develop a passion for painting"

  4. grow, develop, produce, get, acquireverb

    come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)

    "He grew a beard"; "The patient developed abdominal pains"; "I got funny spots all over my body"; "Well-developed breasts"

  5. originate, arise, rise, develop, uprise, spring up, growverb

    come into existence; take on form or shape

    "A new religious movement originated in that country"; "a love that sprang up from friendship"; "the idea for the book grew out of a short story"; "An interesting phenomenon uprose"

  6. build up, developverb

    change the use of and make available or usable

    "develop land"; "The country developed its natural resources"; "The remote areas of the country were gradually built up"

  7. explicate, formulate, developverb

    elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses

    "Could you develop the ideas in your thesis"

  8. train, develop, prepare, educateverb

    create by training and teaching

    "The old master is training world-class violinists"; "we develop the leaders for the future"

  9. developverb

    be gradually disclosed or unfolded; become manifest

    "The plot developed slowly";

  10. developverb

    grow, progress, unfold, or evolve through a process of evolution, natural growth, differentiation, or a conducive environment

    "A flower developed on the branch"; "The country developed into a mighty superpower"; "The embryo develops into a fetus"; "This situation has developed over a long time"

  11. modernize, modernise, developverb

    become technologically advanced

    "Many countries in Asia are now developing at a very fast pace"; "Viet Nam is modernizing rapidly"

  12. develop, make growverb

    cause to grow and differentiate in ways conforming to its natural development

    "The perfect climate here develops the grain"; "He developed a new kind of apple"

  13. developverb

    generate gradually

    "We must develop more potential customers"; "develop a market for the new mobile phone"

  14. develop, growverb

    grow emotionally or mature

    "The child developed beautifully in her new kindergarten"; "When he spent a summer at camp, the boy grew noticeably and no longer showed some of his old adolescent behavior"

  15. developverb

    make visible by means of chemical solutions

    "Please develop this roll of film for me"

  16. developverb

    superimpose a three-dimensional surface on a plane without stretching, in geometry

  17. developverb

    move one's pieces into strategically more advantageous positions

    "Spassky developed quickly"

  18. developverb

    move into a strategically more advantageous position

    "develop the rook"

  19. developverb

    elaborate by the unfolding of a musical idea and by the working out of the rhythmic and harmonic changes in the theme

    "develop the melody and change the key"

  20. break, recrudesce, developverb


    "Report the news as it develops"; "These political movements recrudesce from time to time"

  21. developverb

    expand in the form of a series

    "Develop the function in the following form"


  1. developverb

    To change with a specific direction, progress.

    Let's see how things develop and then make our decision.

  2. developverb

    To progress through a sequence of stages.

  3. developverb

    To create.

    I need to develop a plan for the next three weeks.

  4. developverb

    To bring out images latent in photographic film.

    Please develop this roll of film.

  5. developverb

    To place one's pieces actively.

    I need to develop my white-square bishop.

  6. developverb

    To cause a ball to become more open and available to be played on later. Usually by moving it away from the cushion, or by opening a pack.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Developverb

    To disengage from something that enfolds and conceals; to disentangle; to clear from its covering.

    Etymology: developer, French.

    Take him to develop, if you can,
    And hew the block off, and get out the man. Dunciad.


  1. develop

    Develop refers to the act of growing, improving, or advancing something over time. This could include a wide range of processes, such as creating an idea or project, establishing a skill, forming a concept or plan, or physically growing or evolving. Essentially, to develop means to progress or move forward in some capacity.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Developverb

    to free from that which infolds or envelops; to unfold; to lay open by degrees or in detail; to make visible or known; to disclose; to produce or give forth; as, to develop theories; a motor that develops 100 horse power

  2. Developverb

    to unfold gradually, as a flower from a bud; hence, to bring through a succession of states or stages, each of which is preparatory to the next; to form or expand by a process of growth; to cause to change gradually from an embryo, or a lower state, to a higher state or form of being; as, sunshine and rain develop the bud into a flower; to develop the mind

  3. Developverb

    to advance; to further; to prefect; to make to increase; to promote the growth of

  4. Developverb

    to change the form of, as of an algebraic expression, by executing certain indicated operations without changing the value

  5. Developverb

    to cause to become visible, as an invisible or latent image upon plate, by submitting it to chemical agents; to bring to view

  6. Developverb

    to go through a process of natural evolution or growth, by successive changes from a less perfect to a more perfect or more highly organized state; to advance from a simpler form of existence to one more complex either in structure or function; as, a blossom develops from a bud; the seed develops into a plant; the embryo develops into a well-formed animal; the mind develops year by year

  7. Developverb

    to become apparent gradually; as, a picture on sensitive paper develops on the application of heat; the plans of the conspirators develop

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Develop

    dē-vel′op, v.t. to unroll: to unfold: to lay open by degrees: to promote the growth of: (phot.) to make the latent picture visible by chemical applications.—v.i. to grow into: to open out: to evolve:—pr.p. devel′oping; pa.p. devel′oped.—n. Devel′opment, a gradual unfolding: a gradual growth: evolution: (math.) the expression of a function in the form of a series.—adj. Development′al, pertaining to development.—adv. Development′ally.—Doctrine of development, the theory of the evolution of new species from lower forms. [Fr. développer, opposite of envelopper; both perh. from a Teut. root found in Eng. lap, to wrap.]

Editors Contribution

  1. develop

    To create accurate, specific, just and fair progress or change.

    They did develop their wedding plans together to ensure they had a simple and unifying day with their families and friends.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 1, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'develop' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1169

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'develop' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1764

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'develop' in Verbs Frequency: #92

How to pronounce develop?

How to say develop in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of develop in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of develop in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of develop in a Sentence

  1. Fred A. Manske, Jr.:

    The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability.

  2. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

    Our loyalties must transend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation and this means we must develop a world perspective.

  3. Barbara De Angelis:

    You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.

  4. Charles DeCarli:

    You want to keep learning, learn a new language, develop a new skill like playing piano or guitar, drawing, painting. There's definitely good evidence learning things stimulates brain hormones that help develop our brains.

  5. Harry Firestone:

    It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for develop

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"develop." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/develop>.

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    offensive to the mind
    • A. valetudinarian
    • B. repugnant
    • C. splay
    • D. numinous

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