de·​ri·​sive di-ˈrī-siv How to pronounce derisive (audio)
-ˈri-siv How to pronounce derisive (audio)
: expressing or causing contemptuous ridicule or scorn : expressing or causing derision
derisive laughter
Given such follies …, it's easy to be derisive of Jerry Lewis … James Wolcott
derisively adverb
derisiveness noun

Example Sentences

the derisive performances of some of the singers on the talent show
Recent Examples on the Web The derisive tone was typical of Pushaw, 31, a state employee who earns $120,000 a year. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 27 July 2022 In ruling that Charles Miles should stay in prison, Sacks repeated that phrase often, in a derisive tone. Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune, 6 May 2022 Over the ensuing years Lopez has seemed to gather a force field around her, as if weaponized against derisive scrutiny. Rob Haskell, Vogue, 8 Nov. 2022 The film is both an effervescent collection of blithe, bouncy, ad-and-fashion-centric pop culture, and a derisive condemnation of it. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 16 Sep. 2022 West immediately started firing back at Karefa-Johnson, posting derisive comments about the editor. Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 5 Oct. 2022 Instead of deepening understanding, though, the pronouns became derisive. Hartford Courant, 2 Aug. 2022 However, as the show progresses, Sissy starts to unravel, and the production’s canned laughter takes on a derisive quality, turning into a psychedelic nightmare. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 22 July 2022 The public's treatment of Heard – which has been derisive and dismissive – underscores this point. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 4 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


see derision

First Known Use

circa 1662, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of derisive was circa 1662

Dictionary Entries Near derisive

Cite this Entry

“Derisive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

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