derivative

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

Essential Meaning of derivative

1 : a word formed from another word The word "childish" is a derivative of "child."
2 : something that comes from something else : a substance that is made from another substance Tofu is one of many soybean derivatives. Petroleum is a derivative of coal tar.

Full 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 Big and small, long and short, every other product is a derivative of a Pelican case. Matt Crisara, Popular Mechanics, 4 Oct. 2021 Abandoning it for what’s perceived as a crass derivative of American exceptionalism was never gonna fly. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021 Observers widely expect this new carrier-compatible plane to be a derivative of the FC-31 stealth fighter that the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation developed for export, but which has never found a foreign buyer. David Axe, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 The formulas boast panthenol, a vitamin B5 derivative that strengthens locks and balances moisture, keeping hair hydrated without feeling greasy. Ariel Scotti, Health.com, 23 Sep. 2021 Vitamin C derivative of choice is an ascorbic acid polypeptide. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 26 Aug. 2021 Here is the Mercedes-AMG EQS53 AMG+, a derivative of Mercedes's EQS electric flagship. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, 5 Sep. 2021 Activating Trio is 10 percent Bifidus prebiotic (aka 10 percent Bifida ferment lysate) to calm inflammation and a water-soluble derivative of vitamin C to fade hyperpigmentation marks and brighten your overall complexion. Sarah Han, Allure, 6 Aug. 2021 To date, MindMed has raised $204 million and assembled a compelling drug development pipeline of treatments based on psychedelic substances including LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, DMT and the ibogaine derivative, 18-MC. David E. Carpenter, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Whether Larson’s letter is derivative, in the end, may be up to a jury to decide. New York Times, 5 Oct. 2021 JPMorgan interest-rate derivatives strategist Josh Younger said this may be driven in part by the ARRC’s advocacy and the automatic conversion of outstanding Libor derivative contracts to that index in two years. Julia-ambra Verlaine, WSJ, 13 June 2021 Both the derivative and spot instrument can generate profits and losses in lockstep in someone’s trading account. Javier Paz, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Grey's Anatomy tested better than Lost or Desperate Housewives, but the concern was that Grey's was very generic, very derivative. Lynette Rice, EW.com, 15 Sep. 2021 Some have charged that D'Amelio's style—selfie dances performed without much footwork and largely from the thighs up—is derivative. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 9 Aug. 2021 Far from a subversion of the genre or a fun homage to 90s’ horror, Fear Street: 1994 is derivative, shallow and painfully generic, playing it safe at almost every turn. Erik Kain, Forbes, 4 July 2021 And perhaps Fear Street’s cast would be less dull with a more compelling, less derivative script, but this feels like Scream if it had been written for the CW. Erik Kain, Forbes, 4 July 2021 The production problems were so severe, in fact, that India dropped out of a program to develop a derivative especially for the Indian Air Force. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 19 July 2021

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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Learn More About derivative

Time Traveler for derivative

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near derivative

derivationist

derivative

derivative citizenship

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Statistics for derivative

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Derivative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/derivative. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for derivative

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on derivative

Nglish: Translation of derivative for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of derivative for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about derivative

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