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develop (v.)

1650s, "unroll, unfold" (a sense now obsolete), from French développer. It replaced earlier English disvelop (1590s, from Middle French desveloper); both French words are from Old French desveloper "unwrap, unfurl, unveil; reveal the meaning of, explain," from des- "undo" (see dis-) + veloper "wrap up," which is of uncertain origin, possibly Celtic or Germanic.

The modern uses are figurative and emerged in English 18c. and after: Transitive meaning "unfold more fully, bring out the potential in" is by 1750; intransitive sense of "come gradually into existence or operation" is by 1793; that of "advance from one stage to another toward a finished state" is by 1843. The intransitive meaning "become known, come to light" is by 1864, American English.

The photographic sense "induce the chemical changes necessary to cause a latent picture or image to become visible" is from 1845; the real estate sense of "convert land to practical or profitable use" is by 1865. Related: Developed; developing. Developing as an adjective in reference to poor or primitive countries or nations that are advancing in economic, industrial, and social conditions is by 1960.

Origin and meaning of develop

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Definitions of develop from WordNet

develop (v.)
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
develop (v.)
work out;
We have developed a new theory of evolution
Synonyms: evolve / germinate
develop (v.)
gain through experience;
Dave developed leadership qualities in his new position
Children must develop a sense of right and wrong
develop a passion for painting
Synonyms: acquire / evolve
develop (v.)
come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes);
The patient developed abdominal pains
Well-developed breasts
Synonyms: grow / produce / get / acquire
develop (v.)
come into existence; take on form or shape;
Synonyms: originate / arise / rise / uprise / spring up / grow
develop (v.)
change the use of and make available or usable;
develop land
The country developed its natural resources
Synonyms: build up
develop (v.)
elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses;
Could you develop the ideas in your thesis
Synonyms: explicate / formulate
develop (v.)
create by training and teaching;
we develop the leaders for the future
Synonyms: train / prepare / educate
develop (v.)
be gradually disclosed or unfolded; become manifest;
The plot developed slowly
develop (v.)
grow, progress, unfold, or evolve through a process of evolution, natural growth, differentiation, or a conducive environment;
This situation has developed over a long time
A flower developed on the branch
The country developed into a mighty superpower
The embryo develops into a fetus
develop (v.)
become technologically advanced;
Many countries in Asia are now developing at a very fast pace
Synonyms: modernize / modernise
develop (v.)
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
Synonyms: make grow
develop (v.)
generate gradually;
We must develop more potential customers
develop a market for the new mobile phone
develop (v.)
grow emotionally or mature;
The child developed beautifully in her new kindergarten
Synonyms: grow
develop (v.)
make visible by means of chemical solutions;
Please develop this roll of film for me
develop (v.)
superimpose a three-dimensional surface on a plane without stretching, in geometry;
develop (v.)
move one's pieces into strategically more advantageous positions;
Spassky developed quickly
develop (v.)
move into a strategically more advantageous position;
develop the rook
develop (v.)
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
develop (v.)
happen;
Report the news as it develops
Synonyms: break / recrudesce
develop (v.)
expand in the form of a series;
From wordnet.princeton.edu