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.
- To bring from latency to or toward fulfillment: an instructor who develops the capabilities of each student.
- To expand or enlarge: developed a national corporation into a worldwide business.
- To aid in the growth of; strengthen: exercises that develop muscles.
- To improve the quality of; refine: develops his recipes to perfection; an extra year of study to develop virtuosic technique.
- To cause to become more complex or intricate; add detail and fullness to; elaborate: began with a good premise but developed it without imagination.
- Music To elaborate (a theme) with rhythmic and harmonic variations.
- To bring into being gradually: develop a new cottage industry.
- To set forth or clarify by degrees: developed her thesis in a series of articles.
- To come to have gradually; acquire: develop a taste for opera; develop a friendship.
- To become affected with; contract; developed a rash; developed agoraphobia.
- To cause gradually to acquire a specific role, function, or form, as:
- To influence the behavior of toward a specific end: an investigator who develops witnesses through flattery and intimidation.
- To cause (a tract of land) to serve a particular purpose: developed the site as a community of condominiums.
- To make available and effective to fulfill a particular end or need: develop the state's water resources to serve a growing population.
- To convert or transform: developed the play into a movie.
- Games To move (a chess piece) to or toward a more strategic position.
- To process (a photosensitive material), especially with chemicals, in order to render a recorded image visible.
- To render (an image) visible by this means.
- To grow by degrees into a more advanced or mature state: With hard work, she developed into a great writer. See Synonyms at mature.
- To increase or expand.
- To improve; advance: Their skill developed until it rivaled their teacher's.
- To come gradually into existence or activity: Tension developed between students and faculty.
- To come gradually to light; be disclosed: reports the news as it develops.
- Biology To progress from earlier to later stages of a life cycle: Caterpillars develop into butterflies.
- Biology To progress from earlier to later or from simpler to more complex stages of evolution.