1. the act or process of developing; growth; progress: child development; economic development.
  2. a significant consequence or event: recent developments in the field of science.
  3. a developed or advanced state or form: Drama reached its highest development in the plays of Shakespeare.
  4. Music. the part of a movement or composition in which a theme or themes are developed, or unfolded and elaborated, by various technical means, so as to reveal their inherent possibilities.
  5. a large group of private houses or of apartment houses, often of similar design, constructed as a unified community, especially by a real-estate developer or government organization.
  6. Chess. the act or process of developing chess pieces.
  7. Mining. the work of digging openings, as tunnels, raises, and winzes, to give access to new workings, and of erecting necessary structures.


  1. the act or process of growing, progressing, or developing
  2. the product or result of developing
  3. a fact, event, or happening, esp one that changes a situation
  4. an area or tract of land that has been developed
  5. Also called: development section the section of a movement, usually in sonata form, in which the basic musical themes are developed
  6. chess
    1. the process of developing pieces
    2. the manner in which they are developed
    3. the position of the pieces in the early part of a game with reference to their attacking potential or defensive efficiency

1756, “an unfolding;” see develop + -ment. Of property, with the sense “bringing out the latent possibilities,” from 1885 (Pickering’s glossary of Americanisms, 1816, has betterments “The improvements made on new lands, by cultivation, and the erection of buildings, &c.”). Meaning “state of economic advancement” is from 1902. Meaning “advancement through progressive stages” is 1836.


  1. The act of developing.
  2. The state of being developed.
  3. A significant event, occurrence, or change.
  4. The natural progression from a previous, simpler, or embryonic stage to a later, more complex, or adult stage.
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