1. a person or thing that develops or innovates: a software developer.
  2. Photography. a reducing agent or solution for developing a film or the like.
  3. a person who invests in and develops the urban or suburban potentialities of real estate, especially by subdividing the land into home sites and then building houses and selling them.
  4. Shipbuilding. a person who lays out at full size the lines of a vessel and prepares templates from them.


  1. a person or thing that develops something, esp a person who develops property
  2. photog a solution of a chemical reducing agent that converts the latent image recorded in the emulsion of a film or paper into a visible image

1833, “one who develops,” agent noun from develop. Photography use attested from 1869; meaning “speculative builder” is from 1938.

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