[ dih-rahyv ]
See synonyms for: derivederivedderiving on

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.

  1. to reach or obtain by reasoning; deduce; infer.

  2. Chemistry. to produce or obtain (a substance) from another.

  3. 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.”

verb (used without object),de·rived, de·riv·ing.
  1. to come from a source or origin; originate (often followed by from).

Origin of derive

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English diriven, deriven “to flow, draw from, spring,” from Anglo-French, Old French deriver, from Latin dērīvāre “to lead off,” equivalent to dē- de- + rīv(us) “a stream” + -āre infinitive suffix

Other words for derive

Other words from derive

  • de·riv·a·ble, adjective
  • de·riv·er, noun
  • non·de·riv·a·ble, adjective
  • pre·de·rive, verb (used with object), pre·de·rived, pre·de·riv·ing.
  • un·de·riv·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use derive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for derive


/ (dɪˈraɪv) /

  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

  1. (tr) to trace the source or development of

  2. (usually foll by from) to produce or be produced (from) by a chemical reaction

  3. maths to obtain (a function) by differentiation

Origin of derive

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

Derived forms of derive

  • derivable, adjective
  • deriver, 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