Definition of develop verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪˈveləp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈveləp//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they develop
    BrE BrE//dɪˈveləp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈveləp//
    he / she / it develops
    BrE BrE//dɪˈveləps//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈveləps//
    past simple developed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈveləpt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈveləpt//
    past participle developed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈveləpt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈveləpt//
    -ing form developing
    BrE BrE//dɪˈveləpɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈveləpɪŋ//
    Being ill
    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. Synonymsmakedo 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 interviewer.do (rather 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 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 somebody/something Her son developed asthma when he was two. The car developed engine trouble and we had to stop. See related entries: Being ill
  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 (1) She develops the theme more fully in her later books.
  14. photographs
  15. 8[transitive] develop something to treat film which has been used to take photographs with chemicals so that the pictures can be seen I had the film developed yesterday.
  16. Word Originmid 17th cent. (in the sense ‘unfold, unfurl’): from French développer, based on Latin dis- ‘un-’ + a second element of unknown origin found also in envelop.Extra examples The situation is developing into a crisis. Some children develop more slowly than others. The conflict quickly developed into full-scale war. The place developed from a small fishing village into a major port. We are gradually developing better treatments for these conditions. an opportunity to develop new skills A coherent strategy for getting more people back to work needs to be developed. She developed lung cancer at the age of sixty.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: develop