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(1)   Resulting from or employing derivation
"A derivative process"
"A highly derivative prose style"


(2)   The result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx
(3)   (linguistics) a word that is derived from another word
"`electricity' is a derivative of `electric'"
(4)   A financial instrument whose value is based on another security


Middle English, from dérivatif and derivatus; see derive.


  1. Imitative of the work of someone else.
  2. Referring to a work, such as a translation or adaptation, based on another work that may be subject to copyright restrictions.
  3. Having a value that depends on an underlying asset of variable value.
  4. Lacking originality.


  1. Something derived.
  2. A word that derives from another one.
  3. A financial instrument whose value depends on the valuation of an underlying asset; such as a warrant, an option etc.
  4. A chemical derived from another.
  5. The derived function of a function.
    The derivative of f:f(x) = x^2 is f':f'(x) = 2x
  6. The value of this function for a given value of its independent variable.
    The derivative of f(x) = x^2 at x = 3 is f'(3) = 2*3 = 6.


option, warrant, swap, convertible security, convertible, convertible bond, credit default swap, credit line note, financial futures contract, financial future, total return swap.