de·​rail·​leur | \ di-ˈrā-lər How to pronounce derailleur (audio) \

Definition of derailleur

: a mechanism for shifting gears on a bicycle that operates by moving the chain from one set of exposed gears to another

Examples of derailleur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By 1940 Campagnolo had developed the Cambio Corsa shifting system, which was a derailleur that used two levers and rods attached to the right-side seat stay. Andrew Freeman, Outside Online, 21 May 2012 Quick release axles, derailleur drivetrains, aluminum rims…all of these things started out as cutting-edge performance innovations but ended up making bikes better for just about everybody. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, 21 Apr. 2022 First, the brain of the system lives in the fork and is powered by a standard AXS battery, the same one used on the rear derailleur and seatpost. Rob Reed, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 If the derailleur itself is broken, temporarily convert your bike into a singlespeed. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, 1 June 2021 Modern derailleur hangers are designed to break first, saving the expensive bits. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, 1 June 2021 The Adventure is easy to pedal thanks to the Shimano 8-speed Acera derailleur that doesn’t spin out from under you as 30mph... Bill Roberson, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Shift the derailleur back to the smallest cog or chainring, loosen the cable bolt, and take up any slack before tightening it again. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, 29 Mar. 2021 If braking and shifting require lots of hand force, or if the derailleur is slow to shift the gears, that means there’s drag (dirt) inside the housings, so those and the cables need replacing. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, 29 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'derailleur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of derailleur

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for derailleur

French dérailleur, from dérailler

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best commuter bikes.

Learn More About derailleur

Time Traveler for derailleur

Time Traveler

The first known use of derailleur was in 1930

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near derailleur




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for derailleur

Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Derailleur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!