Definition of "derivative" []

  • Resulting from or employing derivation: a derivative word; a derivative process. (adjective)
  • Copied or adapted from others: a highly derivative prose style. (adjective)
  • Something derived. (noun)
  • Linguistics A word formed from another by derivation, such as electricity from electric. (noun)
  • Mathematics The limiting value of the ratio of the change in a function to the corresponding change in its independent variable. (noun)
  • Resulting from derivation; derived (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Based on or making use of other sources; not original or primary (adjective)
  • Copied from others, esp slavishly; plagiaristic (adjective)
  • A term, idea, etc, that is based on or derived from another in the same class (noun)
  • A word derived from another word (noun)
  • A compound that is formed from, or can be regarded as formed from, a structurally related compound (noun)
  • The change of a function, f(x), with respect to an infinitesimally small change in the independent variable, x; the limit of [f(a + Δx)–f(a)]/Δx, at x = a, as the increment, Δx, tends to 0. Symbols: df(x)/dx, f′(x), Df(x) (noun)
  • The rate of change of one quantity with respect to another (noun)
  • A financial instrument, such as a futures contract or option, the price of which is largely determined by the commodity, currency, share price, interest rate, etc, to which it is linked (noun)
  • (as modifier) (noun)
  • An activity that represents the expression of hidden impulses and desires by channelling them into socially acceptable forms (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "derivative" in a sentence
  • "The term derivative product is a general term for a contractual agreement between two parties whereby the counterparties exchange -- or swap -- payments based some underlying benchmarks, applied against a contract notional amount."
  • "Frodo Baggins is renamed Frodo Sumkin (a derivative from the Russian word sumka, or bag)."
  • "Financial markets use the term derivative to describe a transaction that derives its value from an independent reference asset."