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Development vs. Establish: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 3, 2023
Development is the process of growth or creation; establish means to set up or found something with permanence.

Key Differences

Development typically refers to a process of growth, evolution, or change over time, where something becomes more advanced or complex. It can apply to economies, technologies, skills, and even personal growth. Establish, on the other hand, often refers to the act of founding or setting up something in a more or less permanent form. It is about initiation and confirmation rather than the process of change.
In the context of a business, development might involve the expansion of operations, the improvement of products, or the acquisition of new skills by the workforce. Meanwhile, to establish a business means to set it up, to get it running, and to lay the foundational structures and principles upon which the business will operate.
When we talk about development in a social or urban context, it could mean the construction of infrastructure, the increase of educational standards, or the advancement of social policies. To establish in this context could mean to set up new institutions, laws, or systems that will have lasting effects on the society or environment.
Development in science and technology encompasses research, innovation, and the gradual improvement of technology or scientific understanding. In contrast, to establish in this realm would imply the founding or validation of a new scientific principle, law, or technological standard.
Development in personal terms can be about personal growth, learning new skills, or emotional maturity. Establishing personally could refer to setting clear goals, creating a stable life foundation, or starting a family, indicating a sense of permanence or commitment to a chosen path.

Comparison Chart


Process of growing or evolving.
Act of founding or setting up.


Ongoing and continuous.
Initial and often singular action.

Usage in Business

Refers to expansion and improvement.
Refers to founding or instituting.

Context of Use

Often used for progress or evolution.
Used for creation or initiation.

Personal Growth

Personal skill enhancement or learning.
Creating stable conditions in life.

Development and Establish Definitions


The development of renewable energy technologies is accelerating.


The scientist was able to establish a correlation between the variables.


Economic development is crucial for increasing living standards.


They aim to establish a new charitable organization.


The development of the argument took several pages.


The government will establish new laws to protect the environment.


Child development is influenced by both genetics and environment.


The teacher sought to establish a love of reading in her students.


The development of digital media has transformed communication.


The couple decided to establish their home in a rural area.


The application of techniques or technology to the production of new goods or services.


To cause (an institution, for example) to come into existence or begin operating; found; set up.


The business of constructing buildings or otherwise altering land for new uses.


To bring about; generate or effect
Establish goodwill in the neighborhood.


Can development be both positive and negative?

Yes, development can have both positive and negative outcomes depending on the context.

Does development always mean change?

Yes, it involves change and transformation.

Can development refer to physical growth?

Yes, it can refer to physical, economic, technological, or intellectual growth.

Does establish refer to the beginning of a process?

Yes, it refers to the initial setup or foundation.

What does development usually imply?

It implies progress, growth, or evolution in various contexts.

What does it mean to establish something?

To set it up or found it, often with an expectation of permanence.

Are development and establish interchangeable?

No, they have distinct meanings and uses.

Can a company both develop and establish?

Yes, a company can develop over time and establish new branches or policies.

Is development a quick process?

Development is typically gradual and ongoing.

Can development be reversed?

Some forms of development can be reversed, while others cannot.

Does development always require time?

Development typically requires time to show progress.

Is establish a one-time action?

It usually refers to an initial, sometimes singular, act.

Can you establish without developing?

You can establish something without it being part of a development process.

Is establish always intentional?

Establishing something is usually a deliberate action.

Can establish be used in legal contexts?

Yes, laws and principles can be established.

Does establish require development?

Establishing something can be part of a larger development process.

Can development happen without establishment?

Yes, something can develop without a new establishment.

Is development the same as change?

Development involves change, but it specifically denotes progress or growth.

Is establish related to stability?

Yes, it often conveys the creation of a stable or enduring entity.

Can establish have a permanent implication?

Often, it implies a degree of permanency.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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