derive

verb
de·​rive | \ di-ˈrīv How to pronounce derive (audio) , dē- \
derived; deriving

Definition of derive

transitive verb

1a : to take, receive, or obtain especially from a specified source is said to derive its name from a Native American word meaning "wild onion"
b chemistry : to obtain (a chemical substance) actually or theoretically from a parent substance Petroleum is derived from coal tar.
2 : infer, deduce what was derived from their observations
3 archaic : bring … inconvenience that will be derived to them from stopping all imports …— Thomas Jefferson
4 : to trace the derivation of We can derive the word "chauffeur" from French.

intransitive verb

: to have or take origin : come as a derivative The novel's appeal derives entirely from the complexity of its characters.

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Other Words from derive

deriver noun

Choose the Right Synonym for derive

spring, arise, rise, originate, derive, flow, issue, emanate, proceed, stem mean to come up or out of something into existence. spring implies rapid or sudden emerging. an idea that springs to mind arise and rise may both convey the fact of coming into existence or notice but rise often stresses gradual growth or ascent. new questions have arisen slowly rose to prominence originate implies a definite source or starting point. the fire originated in the basement derive implies a prior existence in another form. the holiday derives from an ancient Roman feast flow adds to spring a suggestion of abundance or ease of inception. words flowed easily from her pen issue suggests emerging from confinement through an outlet. blood issued from the cut emanate applies to the coming of something immaterial (such as a thought) from a source. reports emanating from the capital proceed stresses place of origin, derivation, parentage, or logical cause. advice that proceeds from the best of intentions stem implies originating by dividing or branching off from something as an outgrowth or subordinate development. industries stemming from space research

Examples of derive in a Sentence

The river derives its name from a Native American tribe. Much of the book's appeal derives from the personality of its central character.
Recent Examples on the Web Our rule won’t allow administrators to cherry pick research to derive politically helpful results. Andrew Wheeler, WSJ, "Why We’re Ending the EPA’s Reliance on Secret Science," 4 Jan. 2021 Many speculate that the difficulty of monetizing the Internet is one reason measured GDP growth has slowed in recent years, even as consumers and businesses derive enormous benefits from it. Philip Cross, National Review, "Innovation: Elusive, Hard to Measure but Essential," 30 Dec. 2020 The first episode established the combination of serious data crunching, faux-serious marvel and the capacity to derive meaning from arcana’s arcana. New York Times, "The Best TV Episodes of 2020," 7 Nov. 2020 China’s current goal is to derive as much as 20% of its primary energy use from non-fossil fuels by 2030. Bloomberg.com, "China Mulls Stronger Clean Energy Goals For Next Five Years," 17 Sep. 2020 Research suggests that people who think of their time as a limited resource in its own right are more likely to derive joy from life’s simple pleasures, like eating sweets or talking to a friend. Popular Science, "How to spend your money for maximum happiness," 21 Dec. 2020 Marloes Maathuis, a professor of theoretical and applied statistics at ETH Zurich, looked at how directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) could be used to derive causal relationships in data. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "A.I. needs to get real—and other takeways from this year’s NeurIPS," 15 Dec. 2020 This key then allowed the attacker to derive a pre-computed value to be set in the duo-sid cookie. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "SolarWinds hackers have a clever way to bypass multi-factor authentication," 14 Dec. 2020 The word is often thought to derive from the Latin testari, meaning to testify. Clayton Dalton, The New Yorker, "Why a Negative Test Doesn’t Guarantee You Don’t Have the Coronavirus," 16 Sep. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for derive

Middle English, from Anglo-French deriver, from Latin derivare, literally, to draw off (water), from de- + rivus stream — more at run

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Time Traveler for derive

Time Traveler

The first known use of derive was in the 14th century

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Statistics for derive

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Derive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/derive. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for derive

derive

verb
How to pronounce derive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of derive

: to take or get (something) from (something else)
: to have something as a source : to come from something

derive

verb
de·​rive | \ di-ˈrīv How to pronounce derive (audio) \
derived; deriving

Kids Definition of derive

1 : to take or get from a source I derive great pleasure from reading.
2 : to come from a certain source Some modern holidays derive from ancient traditions.
3 : to trace the origin or source of We derive the word “cherry” from a French word.

derive

verb
de·​rive | \ di-ˈrīv How to pronounce derive (audio) \
derived; deriving

Medical Definition of derive

transitive verb

: to take, receive, or obtain, especially from a specified source specifically : to obtain (a chemical substance) actually or theoretically from a parent substance

intransitive verb

: to have or take origin

Other Words from derive

derivation \ ˌder-​ə-​ˈvā-​shən How to pronounce derive (audio) \ noun

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Comments on derive

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