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.

Keep scrolling for more

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 Air Force is currently preparing to purchase 179 new KC-46 Pegasus tankers, which is a new plane derived from the Boeing 767. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The KC-135 Tanker Could Become the First U.S. Warplane To Serve 100 Years," 31 Dec. 2018 State data was derived from a survey that supplements and is distributed by the U.S. Census. Agueda Pacheco-flores, The Seattle Times, "Report: U.S. women struggling to catch up with men’s pay, and Washington isn’t doing so well," 23 Oct. 2018 Fit for your body and your face, this organic, naturally derived staple revitalizes skin with a blend of coconut oil, shea butter, and extra-virgin olive oil for a heavenly evening ritual that guarantees softer skin by morning. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "6 Supercharged Body Lotions for a Complete Skin Overhaul," 15 Aug. 2018 But according to the data analyst, who has spent stints at Redfin and Denmark’s Gehl Architects, Philadelphia’s parking count was derived from an analysis of three complex data sets. Caitlin Mccabe, Philly.com, "Philadelphia has 2,172,896 parking spaces. So how come you're still circling the block?," 12 July 2018 Also called nonnutritive sweeteners, these can be synthetic, such as saccharin and aspartame, or naturally derived, such as stevia. Eunice Zhang, Washington Post, "Diet drinks may seem like a good idea, but their effects may surprise you," 3 June 2018 They were derived from an in-game interview Yost gave on Fox Sports Kansas City during Tuesday’s 10-1 win over the Giants, in which Yost said Gordon could benefit from minor-league action to break out of his current 0 for 33 slump. Maria Torres, kansascity, "No, Alex Gordon is not being demoted. He'll get at-bats in minor-league games though | The Kansas City Star," 21 Mar. 2018 Acura is one of the more recent entrants into the GT3 scene, launching its NSX GT3 (derived from its NSX supercar) in 2016. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Open mind, wide open throttle: We go to our first NASCAR race," 15 Nov. 2018 They are called chemotropic organisms, because the lifeform's growth is influenced by some sort of external chemical stimuli (a phototroph, meanwhile, lives on the surface and derives chemical energy from sunlight). Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What Would Life on Mars Be Like?," 25 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about derive

Statistics for derive

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for derive

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on derive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with derive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for derive

Spanish Central: Translation of derive

Nglish: Translation of derive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of derive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on derive

What made you want to look up derive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!