der·​by | \ ˈdər-bē How to pronounce derby (audio) , especially British ˈdä- \
plural derbies

Definition of derby

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of several horse races held annually and usually restricted to three-year-olds
2 : a race or contest open to all comers or to a specified category of contestants bicycle derby
3 British : a game between local sports teams … even when both clubs were going through trophy droughts, the derby was still treated like a European Cup final by the fans.Manchester Evening News
4 : a man's stiff felt hat with dome-shaped crown and narrow brim


geographical name
Der·​by | \ ˈdär-bē How to pronounce Derby (audio) , chiefly U.S. ˈdər- \

Definition of Derby (Entry 2 of 2)

city on the Derwent River in Derbyshire, north central England population 252,000

Illustration of derby

Illustration of derby


derby 4

In the meaning defined above

Examples of derby in a Sentence

Noun a derby between Manchester United and Manchester City
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That local derby, referred to as El Trafico due to the city's congested roads, also has a tantalizing new narrative for Mexican fans. Matias Grez, CNN, "Is Javier Hernandez the biggest MLS signing since David Beckham?," 22 Jan. 2020 Ice fishing derbies, with contestants sometimes numbering in the thousands, offer an opportunity to enjoy some friendly competition and terrific camaraderie. Outdoor Life, "3 Killer Ice Fishing Tactics For Mid-Winter Pike, Walleyes, and Panfish," 17 Jan. 2020 The film was an upset winner at the Golden Globes last week, giving it a leg up heading into the February Oscar derby. oregonlive, "Hillsboro animation studio Laika follows Golden Globe win with its sixth Oscar nomination," 13 Jan. 2020 With it, the next round quarterback derby opens in a season Alabama wants to prove its standing hasn’t fallen after missing the playoff. Michael Casagrande |, al, "What’s next for a post-Tua Alabama offense? Breaking down the next chapter.," 6 Jan. 2020 Like half the Premier League, Tottenham has four points; beat Arsenal in Sunday’s north London derby and Pochettino might consider his opening salvo perfectly adequate. Rory Smith, New York Times, "A Lot Can Change in 90 Days. Ask Tottenham Hotspur.," 30 Aug. 2019 This was the 30-year-old Streetsboro resident’s first attempt in the Brawl, an annual fishing derby with more than 8,000 anglers. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "See the fish that won a boat in 2019 Lake Erie Walleye Fall Brawl," 5 Dec. 2019 Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt is holding his annual charity softball game and home run derby at Minute Maid Park on June 6. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans' J.J. Watt charity softball game set for Minute Maid Park in June," 4 Dec. 2019 Next up for Klopp's side is a mouthwatering derby tie against local rivals Everton Wednesday. Ben Church, Darren Lewis & Zayn Nabbi, CNN, "Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum credits Klopp for developing his game," 3 Dec. 2019

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

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First Known Use of derby


1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for derby


Edward Stanley †1834, 12th earl of Derby

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Time Traveler for derby

Time Traveler

The first known use of derby was in 1796

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Statistics for derby

Last Updated

31 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Derby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for derby


How to pronounce Derby (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of derby

: a type of horse race that takes place every year
: a race or contest
British : a game between local sports teams


der·​by | \ ˈdər-bē How to pronounce derby (audio) \
plural derbies

Kids Definition of derby

1 : a race for three-year-old horses usually held every year
2 : a race or contest open to anyone a fishing derby
3 : a stiff felt hat with a narrow brim and a rounded top

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More from Merriam-Webster on derby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with derby

Spanish Central: Translation of derby

Nglish: Translation of derby for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about derby

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