Word Origin & History
1650s, "unroll, unfold," from Fr. developper, replacing English disvelop (1590s, from M.Fr. desveloper), both from O.Fr. desveloper, from des- "undo" + veloper "wrap up," of uncertain origin, possibly Celtic or Germanic. Modern figurative use is 18c. The photographic sense is from 1845; the real estate
sense is from 1890.