Meaning of “development” in the English Dictionary

"development" in English

See all translations


uk /dɪˈvel.əp.mənt/ us /dɪˈvel.əp.mənt/

development noun (GROWTH)

B1 [ U ] the process in which someone or something grows or changes and becomes more advanced:

healthy growth and development
The documentary traced the development of popular music through the ages.
The region suffers from under-/over-development (= having too little/much industry).
a development project (= one to help improve industry) in Pakistan

More examples

adjective uk /dɪˌvel.əpˈmen.təl/ us /dɪˌvel.əpˈmen.t̬əl/

a developmental process/problem

(Definition of “development” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"development" in American English

See all translations

developmentnoun [ C/U ]

us /dɪˈvel·əp·mənt/

development noun [ C/U ] (GROWTH)

the process of growing or changing and becoming more advanced:

[ U ] A good diet and lots of exercise are essential for a child’s healthy growth and development.
[ U ] I took a history course that dealt with the development of popular culture.

literature In a literary work, development is the movement from one event to another or the changes in the charactersunderstanding.

A development is a recent important event that is the latest in a series of related events:

[ C ] There is a new development in the plans to reorganize the fire department.

Development is also the organized increase of a country’s industry and wealth.

development noun [ C/U ] (CREATION)

the process of coming into existence or of creating something new or more advanced:

[ U ] We were waiting for the development of new plans for the city’s convention center.
[ U ] I’m in charge of product development (= the creation and design of new products) for the company.
[ C ] Cotton fields were replaced by housing developments (= groups of similar houses built at the same time) as the city experienced rapid growth.

Development is also the building of houses, stores, or offices, esp. by a company to make a profit, on an area of land where there were none before.

(Definition of “development” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"development" in Business English

See all translations


uk /dɪˈveləpmənt/ us

[ U ] growth or changes that make something become more advanced:

The first year of the plan is primarily focused on organizational development.
He was recruited to oversee international business development.

[ U ] the process of creating something such as a new product or service:

software development
The next stage in the development of this product line is a retail version.

[ U ] the process of producing a plan, idea, etc.:

Motorola said it did not expect its policy, which has been in development since June, to affect its bottom line.

[ C ] a recent event which is the latest in a series of related events:

Keeping up with new developments on the web is not easy.
These beneficial economic developments have followed trade and investment liberalization.

[ U ] ECONOMICS the planned increase of a country’s industry and wealth:

The EU has exercised leadership and argued for policies that support the expansion of trade, growth, and development.
development projects

[ U ] HR improvement of a skill, ability, quality, etc.:

An industry convention is a terrific venue for business skills training and professional development.
They invested resources into employee training and development.
individual/career/staff development

[ C ] also UK housing development, also US real estate development PROPERTY a group of similar buildings built in an area by a particular developer:

They recently bought a house in one of the town's new developments.

[ U ] PROPERTY the building of houses, stores, offices, etc. usually by a company to make a profit, usually on an area of land where there were none before:

The land will be used for private development.
He began his career at Goldman Sachs and moved on to real-estate development in the New York City area.
commercial/industrial development

[ C or U ] NATURAL RESOURCES an area of land that is used for its natural resources, or the use of an area of land for its natural resources:

Oil producers have focused their efforts on optimizing production from existing fields and investing more aggressively in new developments.

(Definition of “development” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.


The fisheries sector is facing many problems, so research and scientific support work are powerful tools for the further sustainable development of this sector.
We must go much further, much further than mere cooperation with development, which, by definition, is an unfair form of cooperation.
The first legal challenge followed the start of work on the port of development in early autumn 1999 without the compensatory habitat improvements being in place.
We sincerely believe in the validity of cultural action, among other things in terms of making a contribution to the social, as well as economic, development of a people.
The initiative adopts a completely new approach, which is to develop innovative employment models within transnational geographical or sectoral development partnerships.
I also think it is a good idea to look a little more closely at the discharge for the development fund.
The best solution to reduce the flow of migration is to support development in these countries and support the welfare of these peoples.
With increasing consumption rates, the depletion of fossil fuels is becoming inevitable and we should therefore increase investment in further research and in the development of sustainable transportation.
The resolution we are going to vote on this week will provide the guiding line for upcoming negotiations on the next-generation development instrument.
As you can see, the main policies that are concerned in this food crisis and can help resolve it are agricultural policy, development policy and trade policy.