Webster 1913 Edition



[Cf. F.
[Written also
The act of developing or disclosing that which is unknown; a gradual unfolding process by which anything is developed, as a plan or method, or an image upon a photographic plate; gradual advancement or growth through a series of progressive changes; also, the result of developing, or a developed state.
A new
of imagination, taste, and poetry.
The series of changes which animal and vegetable organisms undergo in their passage from the embryonic state to maturity, from a lower to a higher state of organization.
The act or process of changing or expanding an expression into another of equivalent value or meaning.
The equivalent expression into which another has been developed.
The elaboration of a theme or subject; the unfolding of a musical idea; the evolution of a whole piece or movement from a leading theme or motive.
Syn. – Unfolding; disclosure; unraveling; evolution; elaboration; growth.

Webster 1828 Edition



An unfolding; the discovering of something secret or withheld from the knowledge of others; disclosure; full exhibition.
The unraveling of a plot.

Definition 2023




Alternative forms


development (countable and uncountable, plural developments)

  1. (uncountable) The process of developing; growth, directed change.
    • 2013 July 19, Ian Sample, Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 34:
      Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.   Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.
    The development of this story has been slow.
  2. (uncountable, biology) The process by which a mature multicellular organism or part of an organism is produced by the addition of new cells.
    • 1992, Rudolf M. Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, page 5
      Of more significance in the nature of branch development; in the Jubulaceae, as in the Porellaceae, branches are acroscopic and normally replace a ventral leaf lobe.
    The organism has reached a crucial stage in its development.
  3. (countable) Something which has developed.
    Our news team brings you the latest developments.
  4. (real estate, countable) A project consisting of one or more commercial or residential buildings, real estate development.
  5. (real estate, uncountable) The building of a real estate development.
  6. (uncountable) The application of new ideas to practical problems (cf. research).
    Our development department has produced three new adhesives this year.
  7. (chess, uncountable) The active placement of the pieces, or the process of achieving it.
    White's development is good, but black's has been hampered by the pawn on e5.
  8. (music) The second section of a piece of music in sonata form.