derive

verb
de·rive | \di-ˈrīv, 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

The other way derives from the second light source at the rear of the image. Robert E. Gordon, WSJ, "A Multi-Layered Drama," 13 July 2018 Whatever Trump's overall approval rating is, his power derives from the fact that Republicans control Congress and that the GOP base is almost completely — and passionately — behind him. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump is threatening the Western alliance. And Republicans have no will to stop him.," 13 July 2018 His wealth derives mainly from Reliance Industries, India’s second-biggest company with a market capitalization of more than $100 billion. Fortune, "8 Things to Know About Mukesh Ambani, Asia's Newest Richest Man," 13 July 2018 From warfarin, Link derives a drug called Coumadin, which is used as a blood thinner to treat heart patients and prevent blood clotting. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW scientific advances include vitamins, growing human embryonic stem cells in lab," 12 July 2018 In fact, the name of our hike, the Lighthouse Way, derives from the series of lighthouses built along this treacherous coast. Doug Hansen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Hiking Spain's wild coast," 12 July 2018 America’s greatness derives from its political forebears, who were white, Christian (or at least Deists), and men. Fred Niedner, Post-Tribune, "Niedner: Recommitting to our founding values crucial to future," 6 July 2018 Its name derives from a Spring Valley Water Co. tank that was built in 1894 to store drinking water pumped from Laguna Honda reservoir. Thomas Graham, SFChronicle.com, "Walking these seven hills of San Francisco a peak experience," 28 June 2018 Gurkhas, whose name derives from the Nepalese hill town of Gorkha, have been deployed in major conflicts and wars since becoming part of the British army in the 19th century. Fox News, "Elite Gurkhas from Nepal deployed to secure Trump-Kim summit," 11 June 2018

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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Statistics for derive

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for derive

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

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More Definitions for derive

derive

verb

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 \
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 \
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 \ noun

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Comments on derive

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