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verb (used with object), de·rived, de·riv·ing.
  1. to receive or obtain from a source or origin (usually followed by from).
  2. to trace from a source or origin: English words derived from German.
  3. to reach or obtain by reasoning; deduce; infer.
  4. Chemistry. to produce or obtain (a substance) from another.
  5. Grammar. to create (a new linguistic form) by adding affixes to or changing the shape of a root or base: The word “runner” is derived from “run.”
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verb (used without object), de·rived, de·riv·ing.
  1. to come from a source or origin; originate (often followed by from).
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Origin of derive

1350–1400; Middle English diriven, deriven to flow, draw from, spring < Anglo-French, Old French deriver < Latin dērīvāre to lead off, equivalent to dē- de- + rīv(us) a stream + -āre infinitive suffix
Related formsde·riv·a·ble, adjectivede·riv·er, nounnon·de·riv·a·ble, adjectivepre·de·rive, verb (used with object), pre·de·rived, pre·de·riv·ing.self-de·rived, adjectiveun·de·riv·a·ble, adjectivewell-de·rived, adjective

Synonyms for derive

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for derived

copied, imitative, unoriginal

Examples from the Web for derived

Contemporary Examples of derived

Historical Examples of derived

British Dictionary definitions for derived


  1. (usually foll by from) to draw or be drawn (from) in source or origin; trace or be traced
  2. (tr) to obtain by reasoning; deduce; infer
  3. (tr) to trace the source or development of
  4. (usually foll by from) to produce or be produced (from) by a chemical reaction
  5. maths to obtain (a function) by differentiation
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Derived Formsderivable, adjectivederiver, noun

Word Origin for derive

C14: from Old French deriver to spring from, from Latin dērīvāre to draw off, from de- + rīvus a stream
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 derived



late 14c., from Old French deriver "to flow, pour out; derive, originate," from Latin derivare "to lead or draw off (a stream of water) from its source" (in Late Latin also "to derive"), from phrase de rivo (de "from" + rivus "stream;" see rivulet). Etymological sense is 1550s. Related: Derived; deriving.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

derived in Medicine


  1. To obtain or receive from a source.
  2. To produce or obtain a chemical compound from another substance by chemical reaction.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.