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.”

verb (used without object), de·rived, de·riv·ing.

  1. to come from a source or origin; originate (often followed by from).


  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

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.


  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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