• synonyms


[dih-rahy-siv, -ris-iv]
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  1. characterized by or expressing derision; contemptuous; mocking: derisive heckling.
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Also de·ri·so·ry [dih-rahy-suh-ree, -zuh-] /dɪˈraɪ sə ri, -zə-/.

Origin of derisive

First recorded in 1655–65; deris(ion) + -ive
Related formsde·ri·sive·ly, adverbde·ri·sive·ness, nounnon·de·ri·sive, adjectiveo·ver·de·ri·sive, adjectiveo·ver·de·ri·sive·ly, adverbo·ver·de·ri·sive·ness, nounun·de·ri·sive, adjectiveun·de·ri·sive·ly, adverbun·de·ri·sive·ness, nounun·de·ri·so·ry, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for derisive

insulting, rude, sarcastic, mocking, disdainful, cheeky, scornful, cocky, contemptuous, crusty, flip, fresh, jeering, nervy, sassy, smart, scoffing, gally, taunting

Examples from the Web for derisive

Contemporary Examples of derisive

Historical Examples of derisive

  • There were those in the valley who viewed the Sabbath calm with a derisive smile.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • They regarded him and his wife with derisive pity, tinged with anger.


    Emile Zola

  • The point was treated with contempt and some derisive laughter.

  • As he did so, from the path above him came a derisive laugh which set his blood boiling.


    Eliot H. Robinson

  • But there is no spur so galling as the derisive smile of a comely young woman.

    Bloom of Cactus

    Robert Ames Bennet

British Dictionary definitions for derisive


  1. showing or characterized by derision; mocking; scornful
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Derived Formsderisively, adverbderisiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for derisive


1620s, "characterized by derision," from Latin deris-, past participle stem of deridere (see derision) + -ive. Meaning "ridiculous" is from 1896. Related: Derisively.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper