: a race for three-year-old horses usually held every year
: a race or contest open to anyone <a fishing derby>
: a stiff felt hat with a narrow brim and a rounded top
Word History of DERBY
The first horse race called a Derby was named after an English nobleman named Edward Stanley, the Earl of Derby (1752-1834). The Earl of Derby instituted the race in 1780, and it continues to be run to the present day in England on the first Wednesday in June. The name Derby has become attached to other horse races, such as the Kentucky Derby in the United States, as well as to races and contests that have nothing to do with horses.