1. 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. "For fear it [water] choke up the pits . . . They [the workman] derive it by other drains." (Holland) "Her due loves derived to that vile witch's share." (Spenser) "Derived to us by tradition from Adam to Noah." (Jer. Taylor)

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

3. To trace the origin, descent, or derivation of; to recognize transmission of; as, he derives this word from the Anglo-Saxon. "From these two causes . . . An ancient set of physicians derived all diseases." (Arbuthnot)

4. <chemistry> To obtain one substance from another by actual or theoretical substitution; as, to derive an organic acid from its corresponding hydrocarbon.

Synonyms: To trace, deduce, infer.

Origin: F. Deriver, L. Derivare; de- + rivus stream, brook. See Rival.

(01 Mar 1998)