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
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.
The service also doesn’t make much money for Google, which derives most of its income from digital advertising.
The figure is derived from the amount of money government, employers and individuals would need to provide each person with a retirement income equal to 70 percent of his or her annual earnings before leaving the workforce.
But local governments — villages, cities, counties — derive most of their funding from property taxes.
The wider Williams-Sonoma company is a rare old-school retail business that derives more than half of its sales from e-commerce.
The thesis here is also derived from its source material.
Polyester, one of the most common fibers, is a plastic derived from crude oil.
Mindstorm bots, for example, derive directly from work done by Mitchell Resnick's lab at MIT; Resnick was mentored there by Seymour Papert; and Papert in turn was influenced by Jean Piaget.
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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