noun \di-ˈri-və-tiv\

: a word formed from another word

: something that comes from something else : a substance that is made from another substance

Full Definition of DERIVATIVE

:  a word formed by derivation
:  something derived
:  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)

Examples of DERIVATIVE

  1. The word childish is a derivative of child.
  2. Tofu is one of many soybean derivatives.
  3. Petroleum is a derivative of coal tar.

First Known Use of DERIVATIVE

15th century



: made up of parts from something else : not new or original

: formed from another word

Full Definition of DERIVATIVE

:  formed by derivation <a derivative word>
:  made up of or marked by derived elements
:  lacking originality :  banal
de·riv·a·tive·ly adverb
de·riv·a·tive·ness noun

Examples of DERIVATIVE

  1. A number of critics found the film derivative and predictable.
  2. His style seems too derivative of Hemingway.

First Known Use of DERIVATIVE

circa 1530



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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.


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