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


a derby between Manchester United and Manchester City

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Last year, the total prize pool for the home run derby was only $525,000, with the winner taking home $125,000. Allen Kim, CNN, "The winner of the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby will take home $1 million," 8 July 2019 Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell participated in four derbies — 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1999. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Alex Bregman to compete in second straight Home Run Derby," 3 July 2019 Guerrero will be 20 years, 114 days old for the derby, 116 days younger than Ken Griffey Jr. for the 1990 showcase., "Blue Jays-Red Sox series thumbnails," 2 July 2019 Guerrero will be 20 years, 114 days old for the July 8 showcase, making him the youngest ever in the derby — 116 days younger than Ken Griffey Jr. in 1990. Jake Seiner,, "Houston Astros lead way with 6 All-Stars," 30 June 2019 Fortunately for those who find joy in green derbies and blinking shamrock ties, there are plenty of events around the Phoenix metro area and across Arizona to appeal to the Irish in everyone. Scott Craven, azcentral, "St. Patrick's Day 2018 events in Phoenix and around Arizona," 13 Mar. 2018 Saturday’s games wrapped up around 2 a.m. and gave way to a home run derby. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Fueled by coffee and Red Bulls, Anchorage softball players celebrate solstice with a tournament," 25 June 2019 After a south coast derby against Brighton and Hove Albion, Southampton face Manchester United in what will surely prove a great test of the Austrian's mettle., "Southampton 2019/20 Premier League Fixtures: When Saints Play Bournemouth, Liverpool, Man Utd & More," 16 June 2019 The event featured current and former NFL stars and some pop culture personalities, too, and included a home run derby and a game between teams captained by Landry and Steelers cornerback Joe Haden. Dan Labbe,, "Shawne Merriman sees greatness in Browns defensive end Myles Garrett," 15 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about derby

Dictionary Entries near derby






derby blue

Derby China

Statistics for derby

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for derby

The first known use of derby was in 1796

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for derby



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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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