Definition of derive
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.
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.
: to have or take origin : come as a derivative The novel's appeal derives entirely from the complexity of its characters.
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 of derive from the Web
Cohn’s power derived largely from his ability to scare potential adversaries with hollow threats and spurious lawsuits.
In today’s America, retirement income typically comes from Social Security retirement income and income derived from retirement vehicles such as IRAs and 401(k)s.
Kojic Acid Kojic acid (derived from mushrooms or fermented rice) is commonly used in skin lighteners, and best used in conjunction with hydroquinone for maximum results.
At the end of each year, a player's ranking is derived from his results at the season's 12 most important tournaments and his best six results at other tournaments.
He isn’t required to list where the entities derive their income.
Prusa is celebrated for intricate images derived from astrophysics and mathematics, painstakingly drawn in silverpoint onto large acrylic spheres.
Salvia is derived from a potent, psychedelic plant.
Before that, it had been found only in Korea, China and Thailand, where it is believed to have derived from a bird flu, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
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.
Synonym Discussion of derive
DERIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of derive for English Language Learners
: to take or get (something) from (something else)
: to have something as a source : to come from something
DERIVE Defined for Kids
Definition of derive for Students
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.
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
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