This is a passage from an article on a medical discovery:

Humans have made incredible health strides and are living longer lives than ever. Many of the maladies that struck down our ancestors have for the most part been completely eliminated – everything from tuberculosis, to polio to malaria.

I wasn't sure what stride means mentioned above so I looked it up on OALD and it defines it as:

3 - an improvement in the way something is developing

But what does develop mean in this definition? I have a vague idea of what it means, but just can't seem to put it into words. I've looked up both AHDE and Dictionary.com, but out of the many senses it provides, none of them seems to fit the context.

1 Answer 1


When they say have made incredible health strides, they mean that there have been tremendous advances [in the medical field].

First of all, the verb is made. Strides is a noun meaning advancements/breakthroughs.

Second in that context, develop(ment) means discover(y).

If it were a verb, it'd be one of the following uses (directly from your links):

In the AHDE definition, it'd be either 2c. under the transitive, or 1c. under the intransitive definition.

In the Dictionary.com version, it's similar to either 1. or 12. Again though, it's not a verb.

Here are some better definitions:

Under the subheading World English Dictionary (toward the bottom of the page beyond number 12.), it's definition number 5..

Here, it's number 4. under noun.

  • Hey sorry for the late response. I get most of the definitions you gave, but I think definition #7 from WED is non-existent?
    – Theo
    Dec 1, 2013 at 22:56
  • actually, I think it's def. #1 instead.
    – Theo
    Dec 1, 2013 at 23:01
  • No, it's not #1; but yes I did make a mistake there. Sorry, I thought I'd double checked it, but it's actually #5 under WED. I'll fix my answer. Number one refers to locomotion. Dec 1, 2013 at 23:15
  • Oh that's the definition of develop from WED I gave, you gave the definition of stride. Sorry I gotta go, I'll be back in a couple of hours.
    – Theo
    Dec 1, 2013 at 23:23

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