[dih-rahy-siv, -ris-iv]


characterized by or expressing derision; contemptuous; mocking: derisive heckling.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for derisory

Contemporary Examples of derisory

Historical Examples of derisory

  • It is a contemptible and derisory gift for luck, like vituperative outcries.


    William Graham Sumner

  • The term astrology had none of the unfortunate or derisory signification that it has at the present time.

    The Popes and Science

    James J. Walsh

  • The slightest glance of amused and derisory intelligence passed between them as the Complete Sportsman plunged into the game.

  • "Come and shew yer ticket o' leave," urged Culling with derisory finger outstretched to indicate the forces of law and order.

    The Sixth Sense

    Stephen McKenna

  • There are no longer insinuating and derisory shakings of the head in the presence of his works.

    Puvis de Chavannes

    Francois Crastre

British Dictionary definitions for derisory



subject to or worthy of derision, esp because of being ridiculously small or inadequate
another word for derisive



showing or characterized by derision; mocking; scornful
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 derisory

1610s, from Latin derisorius, from derisor "derider," agent noun from deridere (see deride).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper