American English

Definition of develop verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they develop
    he / she / it develops
    past simple developed
    -ing form developing
    jump to other results
    grow bigger/stronger
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to gradually grow or become bigger, more advanced, stronger, etc.; to make something do this The child is developing normally. develop (from something) (into something) The place has rapidly developed from a small fishing community into a thriving tourist resort. develop something (from something) (into something) She developed the company from nothing.
  2. new idea/product
  3. 2[transitive] develop something to think of or produce a new idea, product, etc. and make it successful The company develops and markets new software. A new type of painkilling drug has recently been developed. Thesaurusmakedo create develop produce generate formThese words all mean to make something from parts or materials, or to cause something to exist or happen.make to create or prepare something by combining materials or putting parts together; to cause something to exist or happen:She makes her own clothes. She made a good impression on the (somewhat informal) to make or prepare something, especially something artistic or something to eat:He did a beautiful drawing of a house. Who's doing the food for the party?create to make something exist or happen, especially something new that did not exist before:Scientists disagree about how the universe was created.make or create?Make is a more general word and is more often used for physical things: you would usually make a table/dress/cake but create jobs/wealth. You can use create for something physical in order to emphasize how original or unusual the object is:Try this new dish, created by our head chef.develop (used especially in business contexts) to think of and produce a new product:to develop new softwareproduce to make things to be sold; to create something using skill:a factory that produces microchipsgenerate to produce or create something, especially power, money, or ideas:to generate electricity Brainstorming is a good way of generating ideas.form [often passive] to make something from something else; to make something into something else:Rearrange the letters to form a new word. The chain is formed from 136 links.Patterns to make/create/develop/produce/generate/form something from/out of something to make/form something into something to make/produce wine/cheese to create/develop a new product to create/produce/generate income/profits/wealth to produce/generate electricity/heat/power
  4. disease/problem
  5. 3[intransitive, transitive] develop (something) to begin to have something such as a disease or a problem; to start to affect someone or something Her son developed asthma when he was two. The car developed engine trouble and we had to stop.
  6. happen/change
  7. 4[intransitive] to start to happen or change, especially in a bad way A crisis was rapidly developing in the Gulf. We need more time to see how things develop before we take action.
  8. become better
  9. 5[transitive, intransitive] develop (something) to start to have a skill, ability, quality, etc. that becomes better and stronger; to become better and stronger He's developed a real flair for management. Their relationship has developed over a number of years.
  10. build houses
  11. 6[transitive] develop something to build new houses, factories, etc. on an area of land, especially land that was not being used effectively before The site is being developed by a French company.
  12. idea/story
  13. 7[transitive] develop something to make an idea, a story, etc. clearer by explaining it further synonym elaborate on She develops the theme more fully in her later books.
  14. photographs
  15. 8[transitive] develop something to treat film that has been used to take photographs with chemicals so that the pictures can be seen I had the film developed yesterday.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: develop