der·​by | \ˈdər-bē, 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, 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


a derby between Manchester United and Manchester City

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The winner in the electric car derby could be the company that figures out how to sell a mass-market electric car at a profit. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "The Fool’s Game of Picking the Electric Car Champ," 27 July 2018 The man behind the pianos is John Maher, who wears a derby hat and calls himself Petaluma Pete. Carl Nolte,, "Picturesque Petaluma perfect for sunny getaway," 23 June 2018 The event will include a light dinner, beer and wine, as well as a derby hat and tie contest, raffles and a silent auction. Staff Report,, "West Suburban Special Recreation Association plans annual Derby Gala," 23 Apr. 2018 She was dressed in a studded motorcycle jacket over a white crop top, black palazzo pants, suspenders, a derby wool hat and mirrored sunglasses. Jenna Wortham, New York Times, "How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice," 19 Apr. 2018 The event includes entertainment from The Benjaminz, DJ Iam Yulissa, buffet, drink specials, raffle and derby hat contest. Marc Bona,, "Hanford Dixon named honorary chairman of Black and Gold Derby Party," 18 Apr. 2018 In Serie A, the Inter captain scored a stoppage-time winner in the city derby against AC Milan on Sunday. Daniella Matar, The Seattle Times, "Ronaldo keeps his focus, Juventus struggling to do the same," 22 Oct. 2018 Crocodile derbies with a neon-and-white sneaker sole finished the outré statement. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Robert Pattinson Wears Shorts With Pulled-Up Socks on the Red Carpet—And Wins," 3 Oct. 2018 Team chairman Jeffrey Lurie took some batting-practice cuts but did not participate in the derby or the game. Les Bowen,, "Softball event shows Carson Wentz starting to flex his off-field muscle as a Philadelphian," 1 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near derby






derby blue

Derby China

Statistics for derby

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for derby

The first known use of derby was in 1796

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English Language Learners Definition of derby

: a type of horse race that takes place every year

: a race or contest

: a game between local sports teams


der·​by | \ˈdər-bē \
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

Comments on derby

What made you want to look up derby? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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