What does derive mean?

Definitions for derive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. derive

    To derive generally means to obtain or extract something from a particular source. It could refer to extracting principles or theories from data or evidence. In mathematics, it refers to the process of obtaining a new equation or function from another by differential calculus. It could also mean to trace the origin or source of something, like deriving a word from its root language.

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

Anagrams for derive »

  1. reived

  2. redive

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. Henri Matisse:

    Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.

  2. La Rochefoucauld:

    There is no accident so disastrous that a clever man cannot derive some profit from it nor any so fortunate that a fool cannot turn it to his disadvantage.

  3. Robert Kavcic:

    The second leg would be into other areas like the housing market, which we're starting to see weaken now, and service sectors that derive a lot of business from the energy sector.

  4. Hippocrates:

    A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.

  5. Eva Schernhammer:

    To derive practical implications for shift workers and their health, the role of duration and intensity of rotating night shift work and the interplay of shift schedules with individual traits (e.g., chronotype) warrant further exploration.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for derive

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"derive." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/derive>.

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