Definition of derivation in English:



mass noun
  • 1The action of obtaining something from a source or origin.

    ‘the derivation of scientific laws from observation’
    • ‘To begin with, there is the matter of its provenance, which concerns the origin or derivation of an artifact.’
    • ‘In addition, the similarity of the provenance record of samples from glacial and non-glacial units within the Appin and Argyll groups suggests derivation of these two broad depositional regimes from similar source regions.’
    • ‘Einstein's original derivation of mass-energy equivalence is the best known in this group.’
    • ‘The trace element and isotopic characteristics of these dykes imply derivation from an asthenospheric mantle source, which is likely to occur only as a result of regional lithospheric extension.’
    • ‘Although not a definitive indicator, the lack of abrasion is consistent with derivation from nearby sources.’
    • ‘Furthermore, they suggested that such neuroendocrine carcinomas might be of endodermal rather than neuroectodermal derivation.’
    • ‘There is, to my mind, a distinction between the source from which the dividend is paid and the derivation of that source.’
    • ‘The combined isotopic data suggest derivation of the sediments from at least three distinct crustal source regions.’
    • ‘A mutual interaction, rather than a one-way derivation, could offer a more fruitful and more critical path.’
    • ‘Two facies of regionally metamorphosed rocks that may be of either original sedimentary or igneous derivation are characterized by epidote.’
    • ‘The derivation of snakes from mosasauroids implies a marine origin of snakes.’
    • ‘This area has been problematized by a long historical debate over secularism and the complicated derivation of civil laws from various codification systems.’
    • ‘The origin or derivation of rights is a difficult area, but Manderson says that they are claimed and granted within the context of a community on the basis of what is deemed reasonable.’
    • ‘These approaches have one important aspect in common: they all effectively reduce the dimensionality of the search-space by assumption, rather than by derivation.’
    • ‘Considering its derivation from pop fiction and movies, Greene's writing is better than it needed to be.’
    • ‘The high silica content suggests derivation from a high pressure metamorphic source.’
    • ‘The ancestral metazoan gene structure gives the most parsimonious derivation of its descendant genes.’
    • ‘But notice that this just pushes the assumption back, and eventually one will reach the beginning of the original derivation.’
    • ‘This suggests derivation from a similar source and/or a similar depositional age.’
    • ‘The mineralogy of loess commonly differs considerably from that of the underlying bedrock, further demonstrating its derivation from a distant source.’
    deriving, induction, deduction, deducing, inferring, inference, gathering, gleaning, drawing out, extraction, eliciting
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    1. 1.1 The formation of a word from another word or from a root in the same or another language.
      • ‘On this account, the word based theories posit that lexical relations in Semitic languages are linked to derivations involving lexemes and morphemes.’
      • ‘Often, he explains the linguistic derivation of a word or idiom.’
      • ‘The words are of Latin derivation meaning left and right.’
      • ‘I like language and often times, words and their derivation interest me.’
      • ‘These differences relate to the historical derivation of the words in question: whether they were acquired directly from Latin or through French.’
      • ‘Of course, the common derivation of the word Sheffield - ‘the sheep field’ - is wrong and, frankly, slightly naive.’
      • ‘The derivation of the word manufacture reflects its original meaning, ‘to make by hand.’’
      • ‘We forget the derivation of the word journalism: someone who keeps a journal.’
      • ‘The precise derivation of the word has always been as contentious as it is obscure but it is tempting to see some shared lexical kinship with our New Year festivities.’
      • ‘Many of them would later find their way to Louisiana where they became known as Cajuns, a derivation of the word Acadian.’
      • ‘When I first came to the community I asked people for the derivation of the word.’
      • ‘Is there a book out there that indicates the derivation of words?’
      • ‘The derivation of the word ‘quail’ has been charmingly explored by the author who points out that it is an imitative name, cognate with ‘quack’.’
      • ‘I honestly can't give you the derivation of the word, you'd probably need to check someone with training in linguistics.’
      • ‘The derivation of the Chinese word Tai-wan is unknown, though its literal meaning is ‘terraced bay.’’
      • ‘But the similarity of the name to the Incan word makes the actual derivation ambiguous.’
      • ‘He was also learning the meaning of words, their derivation and more while broadening his general knowledge in leaps and bounds.’
      • ‘The word spaniel is probably a derivation of the Latin word for Spain, Hispania, reflecting the dog's Spanish heritage.’
      • ‘The derivation from the Greek word koros, which means insect, is supposed to describe the insect-like aroma of the leaves, although some experts argue that it is because those small brown seeds look like beetles.’
      • ‘Whatever its derivation it has lost any regional associations.’
      origin, etymology
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    2. 1.2 Origin; extraction.
      ‘music of primarily Turkish derivation’
      • ‘Although some inventories after death and other records list imported pieces brought to New France by administrators, seigneurs and ecclesiastics, most Canadian furniture of French derivation was probably made locally in small quantities as early as 1640.’
      • ‘He is of mainly Dutch derivation, with some Japanese ancestry, as well.’
      • ‘One young man whose derivation, I found out, was by way of Pakistan, had to leave in the middle of the semester.’
      • ‘Other references to the Igbo derivation of particular masquerades occur in their praise songs.’
      • ‘The argument conveniently ignores the political reality of devolution, ie that we are Europeans through contribution, not derivation.’
    3. 1.3count noun Something derived; a derivative.
      ‘a good dictionary includes derivations’
      • ‘Essentially a derivation of sherry, the recipe is attributed to the original French monks who settled at the Abbey in the 1880s.’
  • 2Linguistics
    The set of stages that link a sentence in a natural language to its underlying logical form.

    • ‘From a metalinguistic framework, a first distinction may be proposed between tasks that involve morphological derivation in sentence completion and tasks that place a heavier load on explicit segmentation.’
    • ‘Moreover, their dyslexic subgroup defined by the level of phonological impairment is impaired in suffix deletion and not so much in derivation in sentential contexts.’
    • ‘But there must be some logical explanation and derivation, that fits with the current definition, mustn't there?’
    • ‘Compared with delayed dyslexies, phonological dyslexies were impaired in the suffix deletion task but not in derivation in a sentence context.’
    • ‘Moreover, derivation by prefixation of a single consonant would go against the general pattern of word formation in English.’
  • 3Mathematics
    The process of deducing a new formula, theorem, etc., from previously accepted statements.

    • ‘The derivation of the formulas used to construct the graphs is described in MATERIALS AND METHODS.’
    • ‘Sometimes when going through a long algebraic derivation, I will ask each student in turn: ‘Clara, what is the next step in solving for [lambda]?’’
    • ‘His derivation of the estimates is a tour de force and the applications in algebraic geometry are beautiful.’
    • ‘The results generated through Stochastic L-Systems are different for every derivation process.’
    • ‘But here is an elementary (no calculus) derivation that pulls together several useful but mostly disregarded in the pre-college mathematics ideas.’
    1. 3.1count noun A sequence of statements showing that a formula, theorem, etc., is a consequence of previously accepted statements.
      • ‘Future work includes full-scale simulation studies and real data analyses, which can verify the mathematical derivations involved in the theory and test the efficiency of the proposed methods.’
      • ‘After Arbogast died in 1803, Français inherited his mathematical papers and continued to work on the calculus of derivations.’
      • ‘Here is a mathematical derivation of the two values.’
      • ‘The work is a survey of Kerala mathematics and, very unusually for an Indian mathematical text, it contains proofs of the theorems and gives derivations of the rules it contains.’
      • ‘Mathematical derivations and other difficult or detailed materials are often consigned to appendices.’


Late Middle English (denoting the drawing of a fluid, especially pus or blood; also in the sense ‘formation of a word from another word’): from Latin derivatio(n-), from the verb derivare (see derive).