derivative

noun
de·​riv·​a·​tive | \ di-ˈri-və-tiv How to pronounce derivative (audio) \

Definition of derivative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 linguistics : a word formed from another word or base : a word formed by derivation "pointy," "pointed," and other derivatives of "point"
2 : something derived … the sonata form (itself a derivative of opera) …— Kingsley Martin the name "Mia" is a derivative of "Maria"
3 mathematics : the limit of the ratio of the change in a function to the corresponding change in its independent variable as the latter change approaches zero
4 chemistry
a : a chemical substance related structurally to another substance and theoretically derivable from it
b : a substance that can be made from another substance Petroleum is a derivative of coal tar. soybean derivatives
5 : a contract or security (see security sense 3) that derives its value from that of an underlying asset (such as another security) or from the value of a rate (as of interest or currency exchange) or index (see index entry 1 sense 1b) of asset value (such as a stock index)

derivative

adjective

Definition of derivative (Entry 2 of 2)

1 linguistics : formed from another word or base : formed by derivation a derivative word
2 : having parts that originate from another source : made up of or marked by derived elements a derivative philosophy
3 : lacking originality : banal a derivative performance a film using a derivative plot device

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Other Words from derivative

Adjective

derivatively adverb
derivativeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for derivative

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of derivative in a Sentence

Noun The word “childish” is a derivative of “child.” Tofu is one of many soybean derivatives. Petroleum is a derivative of coal tar. Adjective A number of critics found the film derivative and predictable. His style seems too derivative of Hemingway.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Retinol is often used as a catchall term for topical products containing a vitamin A derivative, but technically retinol is a type of retinoid, of which there are several variations that work at different levels in your skin care. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "The Best Retinol Serums and Creams Glamour Editors Swear By," 8 Oct. 2020 In assessing drugs for study, Rahn was first drawn to ibogaine, a shrub-root derivative that had shown promise in addiction therapy. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Turn On, Tune In, Get Well," 5 Oct. 2020 This water-soluble derivative of niacin or vitamin B3 (an essential vitamin not produced by the body) is lauded its anti-inflammatory, soothing, brightening, and skin tone-evening benefits. Jessica Teich, Good Housekeeping, "The Skincare Dictionary: Every Ingredient Explained," 2 Oct. 2020 The union voted 81% in favor of the collective bargaining contract, which includes $1.5 billion (U.S.) in investments to bring battery electric vehicle production to Oakville and a new engine derivative to Windsor, Unifor confirmed. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford sweetens deal for autoworkers in Canada, Unifor ratifies contract," 28 Sep. 2020 Going further, aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, a synthetic derivative of salicylic acid, which is a popular topical medication for acne. Leah Groth, Health.com, "A TikTok User Says Aspirin Face Masks Got Rid of Her Acne—But How Safe Is This?," 14 Sep. 2020 That Arm holds a virtual monopoly in the smartphone industry is unquestioned—practically every smartphone made includes some derivative of an Arm chip design. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Nvidia's CEO argues that buying Arm won't threaten CPU neutrality," 14 Sep. 2020 The government of revolutionary France, hindered by its reliance on gold money, created a new form of paper money, the assignat, which ended up being a kind of a cross between a fiat currency and a real-estate derivative. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Apocalypse Now?," 31 Aug. 2020 As a result, the Navy might eventually be forced into accepting a derivative of the F-35. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Is Finally Creating America's Next Fighter Jet," 20 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The theater scene, in the early 1960s, was full of derivative playwrights stuck in Beckett’s philosophical purgatory, and Mr. Schisgal’s approach, to trade gloom for irreverence, provided an escape hatch. Will Dudding, New York Times, "Murray Schisgal, Who Brought the Absurd to the Mainstream, Dies at 93," 2 Oct. 2020 Moves in real yields explain 72% of swings in the gold price over the past 12 months, according to analysis by Michael Sneyd, head of macro quantitative and derivative strategy at BNP Paribas. Joe Wallace, WSJ, "Gold’s Record High Gives New Life to Dollar Doomsayers," 29 Sep. 2020 When buying lira from clients abroad, Turkish banks’ swaps and derivative positions can reach as much as 10% of their equity, up from 1% previously, the regulator said in a decree published Friday. Asli Kandemir, Bloomberg.com, "Turkish Lira Rallies After Banking Regulator Eases Trading Curbs," 25 Sep. 2020 And money managers have wagered on calm oil prices using derivative contracts known as options. Joe Wallace, WSJ, "Oil Market’s Wild Swings Subdued by Options Trading," 27 Aug. 2020 These are derivative contracts that an investor, usually an insurance company, can buy as a way of further hedging their risks from natural disasters. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Insurers are getting nervous as Hurricane Laura is set to make landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm," 26 Aug. 2020 Yet even making those allowances, this feels derivative almost to the point of distraction. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Palm Springs' is like 'Groundhog Day' all over (and over) again," 10 July 2020 The use of retro wallpaper patterns, saturated jewel-tones and bursts of animation for scene transitions can seem derivative, but is still visually appealing. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "Bill Nighy gives a stellar performance in the quirky British comedy “Sometimes Always Never”," 9 July 2020 While Kearns' death appears to be the result of a tragic misunderstanding, Brewster still blasted Robinhood for permitting amateur investors to wade unprepared into the complicated waters of derivative trading. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Robinhood gives $250,000 to suicide prevention, vows platform changes after young trader’s death," 22 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'derivative.' 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 derivative

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for derivative

Noun

see derive

Adjective

see derive

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Time Traveler for derivative

Time Traveler

The first known use of derivative was in the 15th century

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Statistics for derivative

Last Updated

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Derivative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/derivative. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for derivative

derivative

noun
How to pronounce derivative (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of derivative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a word formed from another word
: something that comes from something else : a substance that is made from another substance

derivative

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of derivative (Entry 2 of 2)

usually disapproving : made up of parts from something else : not new or original
: formed from another word

derivative

noun
de·​riv·​a·​tive | \ di-ˈri-və-tiv How to pronounce derivative (audio) \

Kids Definition of derivative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a word formed from an earlier word or root The word “Childhood” is a derivative of “child.”
2 : something that is formed from something else Gasoline is a derivative of petroleum.

derivative

adjective

Kids Definition of derivative (Entry 2 of 2)

: formed from something else a derivative product

Other Words from derivative

derivatively adverb

derivative

adjective
de·​riv·​a·​tive | \ di-ˈriv-ət-iv How to pronounce derivative (audio) \

Medical Definition of derivative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : formed by derivation
2 : made up of or marked by derived elements

derivative

noun

Medical Definition of derivative (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that is obtained from, grows out of, or results from an earlier or more fundamental state or condition
2a : a chemical substance related structurally to another substance and theoretically derivable from it
b : a substance that can be made from another substance

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derivative

noun
de·​riv·​a·​tive | \ də-ˈri-və-tiv How to pronounce derivative (audio) \

Legal Definition of derivative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a contract or security that derives its value from that of an underlying asset (as another security) or from the value of a rate (as of interest or currency exchange) or index of asset value (as a stock index)

Note: Derivatives often take the form of customized contracts transacted outside of security exchanges, while other contracts, such as standard index options and futures, are openly traded on such exchanges. Derivatives often involve a forward contract.

derivative

adjective

Legal Definition of derivative (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : arising out of or dependent on the existence of something else — compare direct
2 : of, relating to, or being a derivative a derivative transaction

Other Words from derivative

derivatively adverb

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Comments on derivative

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