Borrowed from French développer, from Middle French desveloper, from Old French desveloper, from des- + veloper (compare Italian viluppare, Old Italian alternative form goluppare) from Vulgar Latin *vloppō, *wloppō ("to wrap") ultimately from Proto-Germanic *wrappaną, *wlappaną, from Proto-Indo-European *werb- . Akin to Middle English wlappen ("to wrap, fold") (Modern English lap ("to wrap, involve, fold")), Middle English wrappen ("to wrap"), Middle Dutch lappen ("to wrap up, embrace"), dialectal Danish vravle ("to wind, twist"), Middle Low German wrempen ("to wrinkle, scrunch, distort"), Old English wearp ("warp"). The word acquired its modern meaning from the 17th-century belief that an egg contains the animal in miniature and matures by growing larger and shedding its envelopes.
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