: any of several horse races held annually and usually restricted to three-year-olds
: a race or contest open to all comers or to a specified category of contestants
a bicycle derby
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.—The Manchester (England) Evening News
: a stiff felt hat with dome-shaped crown and narrow brim
Illustration of derby
Examples of derby in a Sentence
a derby between Manchester United and Manchester City
Recent Examples on the WebThe Row Jules Derby shoes The Row’s derby shoes add a chic tomboy element.—Porter Simmons, Vogue, 24 Nov. 2023 With a wider opening for your foot, derby shoes also work better with heavier socks.—Brad Lanphear, Men's Health, 8 Sep. 2023 The sons wrestled in high school, competed in fishing derbies and sometimes worked at the nearby zinc mine.—Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, 11 Nov. 2023 Traditionalists say a Kentucky derby pie should be made with walnuts only, but most recipes give you a choice between walnuts and pecans.—Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 30 Oct. 2023 The four-time NBA championship winner entered Ball Area in a camouflage jacket paired with black pants and derby sneakers.—Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 25 Oct. 2023 Junior Roller Derby opening weekend The Rose City Rollers roller derby team opens its juniors season with a bout featuring the 7-12 year olds on the Petals team and the 12-17 year old Rosebuds.—oregonlive, 6 Sep. 2023 Lego fans are invited to an exhibit and merchandise event at the San Diego Convention Center, where life-size models made with more than 1 million Lego brings, as well as hands-on attractions like a 200,000-brick crawl pit, Lego car derby races, and hard-to-find Lego sets.—The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Aug. 2023 Semple performing party songs beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday begins early with a carp fishing derby starting at 6 a.m. and running to 2 p.m.
A church service will be held in the park at 9:30 a.m., hosted by New Life Montgomery.—Judy Pochel, Chicago Tribune, 15 Aug. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'derby.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
: a horse race usually for three-year-olds held annually
: a race or contest open to all comers
a fishing derby
: a stiff felt hat with dome-shaped top and narrow brim
named for Edward Stanley, 12th earl of Derby (a county and town in England)
The first horse race called a Derby was named after an English nobleman named Edward Stanley, the Earl of Derby (1752–1834). The Earl instituted the race in 1780, and it continues to be run to the present day on the first Wednesday in June at Epsom Downs, a racetrack south of London. The name Derby has become attached to other races usually restricted to three-year-old horses, such as the Kentucky Derby. It is used as well of races that have nothing to do with horses, such as the Pinewood Derby run by the Cub Scouts. In the 1800s derby was also the name given in the U.S. to a dome-shaped hat called a bowler in England. The reason why the hat was given this name is uncertain, and nothing seems to link it with horse races.