What does derive mean?

Definitions for derive

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word derive.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. deduce, infer, deduct, deriveverb

    reason by deduction; establish by deduction

  2. derive, gainverb


    "derive pleasure from one's garden"

  3. deriveverb

    come from

    "The present name derives from an older form"

  4. derive, educeverb

    develop or evolve from a latent or potential state

  5. derive, come, descendverb

    come from; be connected by a relationship of blood, for example

    "She was descended from an old Italian noble family"; "he comes from humble origins"


  1. deriveverb

    To obtain or receive (something) from something else.

  2. deriveverb

    To deduce (a conclusion) by reasoning.

  3. deriveverb

    To find the derivation of (a word or phrase).

  4. deriveverb

    To create (a compound) from another by means of a reaction.

  5. deriveverb

    To originate or stem (from).

  6. Etymology: From deriven, from deriver, from derivare, from de + rivus; see rival.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DERIVEverb

    Etymology: deriver, French, from derivo, Latin.

    Company lessens the shame of vice by sharing it, and abates the torrent of a common odium by deriving it into many channels. Robert South, Sermons.

    They endeavour to derive the varieties of colours from the various proportion of the direct progress or motion of these globules to their circumvolution, or motion about their own centre. Robert Boyle, on Colours.

    This property of it seems rather to have been derived from the Pretorian soldiers, who insolently assumed the disposing of the empire. Decay of Piety.

    Men derive their ideas of duration from their reflection on the train of ideas they observe to succeed one another in their own understandings. John Locke.

    From these two causes of the laxity and rigidity of the fibres, the methodists, an ancient set of physicians, derived all diseases of human bodies with a great deal of reason; for the fluids derive their qualities from the solids. Arbuthnot.

    Christ having Adam’s nature as we have, but incorrupt, deriveth not nature, but incorruption, and that immediately from his own person, unto all that belong unto him. Richard Hooker.

    The censors of these wretches, who, I am sure, could derive no sanctity to them from their own persons; yet upon this account, that they had been consecrated by the offering incense in them, were, by God’s special command, sequestered from all common use. Robert South, Sermons.

    Besides the readiness of parts, an excellent disposition of mind is derived to your lordship from the parents of two generations, to whom I have the honour to be known. Henry Felton.

    The streams of the publick justice were derived into every part of the kingdom. John Davies, on Ireland.

  2. To Deriveverb

    He that resists the pow’r of Ptolomy,
    Resists the pow’r of heav’n; for pow’r from heav’n
    Derives, and monarchs rule by gods appointed. Matthew Prior.

    I am, my lord, as well deriv’d as he,
    As well possest. William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Deriveverb

    to turn the course of, as water; to divert and distribute into subordinate channels; to diffuse; to communicate; to transmit; -- followed by to, into, on, upon

  2. Deriveverb

    to receive, as from a source or origin; to obtain by descent or by transmission; to draw; to deduce; -- followed by from

  3. Deriveverb

    to trace the origin, descent, or derivation of; to recognize transmission of; as, he derives this word from the Anglo-Saxon

  4. Deriveverb

    to obtain one substance from another by actual or theoretical substitution; as, to derive an organic acid from its corresponding hydrocarbon

  5. Deriveverb

    to flow; to have origin; to descend; to proceed; to be deduced

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Derive

    de-rīv′, v.t. to draw from, as water from a river; to take or receive from a source or origin: to infer: (ety.) to trace a word to its root.—adj. Derīv′able.—adv. Derīv′ably.—adj. Der′ivate, derived.—n. a derivative.—n. Derivā′tion, act of deriving: a drawing off or from: the tracing of a word to its original root: that which is derived: descent or evolution of man or animals.—adj. Derivā′tional.—n. Derivā′tionist.—adj. Deriv′ative, derived or taken from something else: not radical or original.—n. that which is derived: a word formed from another word.—adv. Deriv′atively. [O. Fr. deriver—L. derivārede, down from, rivus, a river.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'derive' in Verbs Frequency: #393

How to pronounce derive?

How to say derive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of derive in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of derive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of derive in a Sentence

  1. Eric Hoffer:

    The pleasure we derive from doing favors is partly in the feeling it gives us that we are not altogether worthless. It is a pleasant surprise to ourselves.

  2. Karl Kraus:

    Adults who still derive childlike pleasure from hanging gifts of a ready-made education on the Christmas tree of a child waiting outside the door to life do not realize how unreceptive they are making the children to everything that constitutes the true surprise of life.

  3. Goa Kerle:

    From people of goodwill, I get inspiration, from my detractors, I derive aspiration.

  4. Henry David Thoreau:

    I derive no pleasure from talking with a young woman simply because she has regular features.

  5. Andrew M. Dixon:

    Always afraid of making mistakes, always afraid of making wrong decisions, always trying to be perfect; fact is no one is perfect, and the best lessons derive from the mistakes and the wrong decisions we make. Don't be afraid of mistakes, and never regret the decisions you make; use them as a life lesson, and build on them.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for derive

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