Meaning of DERIVE in English


də̇ˈrīv, dēˈ- verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English deriven to come (as from a source), receive (as from a source), divert (as water) into a different channel, from Middle French deriver, from Latin derivare to divert (as water) into a different channel, derive (one word from another), from de- + -rivare (from rivus stream, brook) — more at rise

transitive verb


a. : to take or receive especially from a source

an English loanword derived from German

the river derives its name from an Indian chief

the mills derive their power from the falls

he derives much of his income from investments

b. : to obtain or gain through heredity or by transmission from environment or circumstance

he derived his enthusiasm for the theater from his father

deriving certain dignity from battles fought and won — Richard Llewellyn

the word girl is derived from Middle English girle

c. : to acquire, get, or draw (as something pleasant or beneficial)

the satisfaction derived from a sense of sharing in creative activities — John Dewey

the mutual benefits that nations can derive from trading which flows in both directions — Lamp

d. : adapt

a movie derived from a novel

e. : to obtain (a substance) actually or theoretically from a parent substance (as by substitution or hydrolysis) — compare derivative II 4

2. archaic : to divert (as water) from its source or normal course

3. : to gather or arrive at (as a conclusion) by reasoning and observation:

a. : to obtain inductively

ideas derived from nature

: infer

b. : deduce

propositions derived from axioms

4. archaic : to pass along : transmit

5. archaic : to cause to come

inconvenience that will be derived to them from stopping all imports — Thomas Jefferson

6. : to trace the origin, descent, or derivation of

we can derive English chauffeur from French

derive toaster from toast

an early theory derived speech from involuntary cries

7. : to be descended or formed from

all were probably derived from the same ancestral stock — M.F.A.Montagu

: be a derivative of

the plural is normally derived from the singular

intransitive verb

1. archaic : descend 3

2. : to have or take origin : originate : stem , emanate : come as a derivative — usually used with from

all knowledge derives from sensations — J.H.Randall

half of his income derives from wheat

the social stratum from which he derived — Carl Van Doren

stories deriving from his experiences in Africa

Synonyms: see spring

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.