Development is the act of improving by expanding, enlarging, or refining. The merging of two university departments might lead to the development of a new curriculum.

There are many other definitions for this noun, too. Real estate development is the conversion of land or property to a specific use, like housing or retail space. To grow up, we pass through many stages of development, from infancy to old age. Breaking news is often followed by developments, that is, recent events or information that's relevant to the story.

Definitions of development

n a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage)

“the development of his ideas took many years”
“the slow development of her skill as a writer”
degeneration, devolution
the process of declining from a higher to a lower level of effective power or vitality or essential quality
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the development of a consonant phoneme into a sibilant
a process of becoming deeper and more profound
a progression from simpler to more complex forms
flowering, unfolding
a developmental process
Type of:
physical process, process
a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states

n the act of improving by expanding, enlarging, or refining

“he congratulated them on their development of a plan to meet the emergency”
“they funded research and development
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advancement, progress
gradual improvement or growth or development
the action of making broader
elaboration, working out
developing in intricate and painstaking detail
product development
improving an existing product or developing new kinds of products
forwarding, furtherance, promotion
the advancement of some enterprise
significant progress (especially in the phrase "make strides")
work flow, workflow
progress (or rate of progress) in work being done
Type of:
the act of improving something

n a recent event that has some relevance for the present situation

“recent developments in Iraq”
“what a revolting development!”
turn, turn of events, twist
an unforeseen development
a remarkable development
complication, ramification
a development that complicates a situation
Type of:
alteration, change, modification
an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another

n the act of making some area of land or water more profitable or productive or useful

“the development of Alaskan resources”
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land development
making an area of land more useful
water development, water program, water project
making an area of water more useful
overexploitation, overuse, overutilisation, overutilization
exploitation to the point of diminishing returns
capitalisation, capitalization
the act of capitalizing on an opportunity
commercialisation, commercialization
the act of commercializing something; involving something in commerce
the act of providing electricity
unitisation, unitization
the joint development of a petroleum resource that straddles territory controlled by different companies
Type of:
employment, exercise, usage, use, utilisation, utilization
the act of using

n a district that has been developed to serve some purpose

“such land is practical for small park developments
housing development
a residential area of similar dwellings built by property developers and usually under a single management
housing estate
a residential area where the houses were all planned and built at the same time
housing project, public housing
a housing development that is publicly funded and administered for low-income families
Type of:
district, dominion, territorial dominion, territory
a region marked off for administrative or other purposes

n (biology) the process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level

“he proposed an indicator of osseous development in children”
growing, growth, maturation, ontogenesis, ontogeny
failure of normal development to occur
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(biology) the growing of microorganisms in a nutrient medium (such as gelatin or agar)
the developmental process of forming tooth enamel
the formation of new blood vessels
(biology) growth in the thickness of a cell wall by the deposit of successive layers of material
growth from increase in cell size without cell division
anthesis, blossoming, efflorescence, florescence, flowering, inflorescence
the time and process of budding and unfolding of blossoms
caenogenesis, cainogenesis, cenogenesis, kainogenesis, kenogenesis
introduction during embryonic development of characters or structure not present in the earlier evolutionary history of the strain or species (such as the addition of the placenta in mammalian evolution)
(botany) the process in some plants of parts growing together that are usually separate (such as petals)
the process of fostering the growth of something
cytogenesis, cytogeny
the origin and development and variation of cells
foliation, leafing
(botany) the process of forming leaves
the bearing of fruit
the development and maturation of sex cells through meiosis
germination, sprouting
the process whereby seeds or spores sprout and begin to grow
the general form or mode of growth (especially of a plant or crystal)
the fruiting stage of the inflorescence
(biology) growth in the surface area of a cell by the deposit of new particles between existing particles in the cell wall
the process of growing into a youth
life cycle
the course of developmental changes in an organism from fertilized zygote to maturity when another zygote can be produced
masculinisation, masculinization, virilisation, virilization
the abnormal development of male sexual characteristics in a female (usually as the result of hormone therapies or adrenal malfunction)
differentiation and growth of the structure of an organism (or a part of an organism)
myelinisation, myelinization
the development of a myelin sheath around a nerve fiber
the development of nerve tissues
palingenesis, recapitulation
emergence during embryonic development of various characters or structures that appeared during the evolutionary history of the strain or species
growth by the rapid multiplication of parts
a general term for the origin and development of almost any aspect of the mind
the development in the life of an individual of some disorder that is caused by psychological rather than physiological factors
psychomotor development
progressive acquisition of skills involving both mental and motor activities
psychosexual development
(psychoanalysis) the process during which personality and sexual behavior mature through a series of stages: first oral stage and then anal stage and then phallic stage and then latency stage and finally genital stage
the process of putting forth roots and beginning to grow
the failure to develop some part or organ
dentition, odontiasis, teething
the eruption through the gums of baby teeth
the development of defects in an embryo
the process of growth in plants
a culture containing yeast or bacteria that is used to start the process of fermentation or souring in making butter or cheese or dough
development of ova
precocious dentition
teething at an earlier age than expected
development of spermatozoa
Type of:
biological process, organic process
a process occurring in living organisms

n (music) the section of a composition or movement (especially in sonata form) where the major musical themes are developed and elaborated

Type of:
section, subdivision
a self-contained part of a larger composition (written or musical)

n a state in which things are improving; the result of developing (as in the early part of a game of chess)

“after he saw the latest development he changed his mind and became a supporter”
“in chess your should take care of your development before moving your queen”
state of inadequate development
Type of:
improvement, melioration
a condition superior to an earlier condition

n processing a photosensitive material in order to make an image visible

“the development and printing of his pictures took only two hours”
(photography) inadequate processing of film resulting in inadequate contrast
Type of:
preparing or putting through a prescribed procedure

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