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 The Colts, Buccaneers, Chargers and Dolphins are among the teams expected to be in a Brady derby. Dallas News, "Tom Brady leaving Patriots, says ‘football journey’ is elsewhere," 17 Mar. 2020 Alabama's former players left in the Super Bowl derby are Titans inside linebacker Rashaan Evans and running back Derrick Henry, Chiefs linebacker Reggie Ragland and Packers punter JK Scott. Mark Inabinett |, al, "NFL Playoffs: Auburn going to Super Bowl LIV," 16 Jan. 2020 Also, Ángel Rodríguez scored his sixth and seventh goals in all competitions to lead Getafe to a 2-0 win over Leganés in a Madrid derby. Joseph Wilson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Griezmann finds groove with Messi, Suárez in Barca victory," 19 Oct. 2019 They are unbeaten in their last six La Liga derbies against Atletico, winning two of those and drawing the other four., "Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid: 6 Key Stats & Facts to Impress Your Mates Ahead of the Madrid Derby," 28 Sep. 2019 McGruder's opportunity for a meaningful contribution could come down to whether the Clippers find a place in the eventual Andre Iguodala derby or get in the running for another veteran at the buyout deadline. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Ex-Heat still raising temperatures elsewhere | Commentary," 26 Oct. 2019 After struggling for Argentina yet again, Messi returned to Barcelona and thrived as usual, scoring twice in the 2-0 win over Espanyol in the Catalan derby on Saturday. Tales Azzoni, The Seattle Times, "Back with Barcelona, Messi thrives in latest Liga win," 30 Mar. 2019 Goals for the returning Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso had already put Chelsea in command of the London derby when Tottenham's midfielder Giovani Lo Celso tangled with home captain Cesar Azpilcueta in the 52nd minute. Paul Gittings, CNN, "VAR officials own up to red card blunder as Chelsea defeats Spurs in crunch London derby," 22 Feb. 2020 While hostilities between the north London rivals go back around 130 years in the men’s game, this was their first WSL derby., "Alabama fifth in AP poll," 18 Nov. 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

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The first known use of derby was in 1796

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Statistics for derby

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Derby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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