develop - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participledeveloping
past tensedeveloped
past participledeveloped
  1. 1
    [intransitive] if people, animals, or plants develop, they change or grow as they get older

    All children develop at different rates.

    develop into:

    The cell then develops into an embryo.

    develop from:

    Fine white roots develop from the nodes on the stems.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to grow something

      The tree will gradually develop tough bark.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to become bigger or more successful as a company, business, or industry

    Markets for such high-priced products develop slowly.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to gradually become clear or complete as details are added

    The plot develops further in the second episode.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to gradually add details to an idea, plan, story etc to make it more clear or complete

      I’d like to fully develop my idea before discussing it.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to change as events or conditions change, especially to become more serious

    We’re waiting to see how things develop before we evacuate anyone.

  5. 5
    [transitive] to begin to be affected by a disease or medical condition

    She died two years after first developing the illness.

    1. a.
    2. b.
      [transitive] to begin to have something such as a feeling, habit, interest, or relationship

      She developed a taste for champagne while she was in France.

    3. c.
      [intransitive] to start to exist, or to start to be noticeable
    4. d.
      [transitive] to begin to have a problem or difficulty

      One of the engines developed a problem soon after take-off.

  6. 8
    [transitive] to use land for a particular purpose or in a way that increases its value

    A company applied to develop the land for housing.