: the limit of the ratio of the change in a function to the corresponding change in its independent variable as the latter change approaches zero
a: a chemical substance related structurally to another substance and theoretically derivable from it
b: a substance that can be made from another substance
: a contract or security that derives its value from that of an underlying asset (as another security) or from the value of a rate (as of interest or currency exchange) or index of asset value (as a stock index)
In mathematics, a fundamental concept of differential calculus representing the instantaneous rate of change of a function. The first derivative of a function is a function whose values can be interpreted as slopes of tangent lines to the graph of the original function at a given point. The derivative of a derivative (known as the second derivative) describes the rate of change of the rate of change, and can be thought of physically as acceleration. The process of finding a derivative is called differentiation.