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a highly derivative prose style
  something developed from something else such as:
  • a word based on another word
  • a mathematical value from a function
  • the value of a financial instrument
  • a work of art such as a film or painting that lacks ideas not previously expressed in other works of art
 Mark word for later review on this computer
derivatives derivation derivative derivatively
Strongly Associated with:   derive, derivation
When used in an artistic context, derivative is often intended to imply a lack of creativity.
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  • a highly derivative prose style
  • Comparisons between original scientific reports and derivative science journalism and popular science typically reveals at least some level of distortion and oversimplification, often quite dramatic... 04/01/08)
  • Red paused for a minute and then spoke directly to Margaret and me using a derivative of my name that only Red Stevens was allowed to use.
    Jim Stovall  --  The Ultimate Gift
  • Basically they’re all testosterone or testosterone derivatives.
    Carl Deuker  --  Gym Candy

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  • So are derivatives.
    Lauren Oliver  --  Before I Fall
  • Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative).
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • My original strategy was pathetically derivative, lacking logic and design and substituting for both an amorphous hunger to do for a small Southern city what James Joyce had done in his miraculous microcosm.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Upstairs, puzzling light-headed over differential equations, Newton’s Law of Cooling, independent variables, we have used the fact that tau is constant to eliminate its derivative, Hobie’s presence below stairs was an anchor, a friendly weight: I was comforted to hear the tap of his mallet floating up from below and to know that he was down there pottering quietly with his tools and his spirit gums and varicolored woods.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and research.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • It is a sort of derivative which disarranges and disconcerts the whole science of BOOK FOURTH.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables

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  • SEMUTA: the second narcotic derivative (by crystal extraction) from burned residue of elacca wood.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • The whole thing is less derivative than it sounds and not without humor and irony.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • —I trust he does not read this, unless he will improve by it—thinking to live by some derivative old-country mode in this primitive new country—to catch perch with shiners.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • Lucas said, "I’m just saying we don’t want to come across as derivative."
    Sarah Dessen  --  This Lullaby
  • ’You think it’s tacky and derivative.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Lock and Key
  • Originally intended to prevent escape of lab animals that might break free into the core, the sensors released ligamine, a curare derivative that was water-soluble, in the form of a gas.
    Michael Crichton  --  The Andromeda Strain
  • For life, I prize it As I weigh grief, which I would spare: for honour, ’tis a derivative from me to mine, And only that I stand for.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Winter’s Tale
  • The fact that Zayd got their first CD last year, when they were unknown, combined with Cedric’s casual aside last winter that he thought the group’s curious mix of hip-hop and soul and rock was at best "derivative," gives Zayd bragging rights on having discovered them first.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • His work was dismissed, ridiculed, described as derivative and silly.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • It is a derivative of Mabmood, meaning "praised".
    Betty Mahmoody  --  Not Without My Daughter
  • The suite in which Devereux Warren was gracefully weakening and sinking was of the same size as that of the Señor Pardo y Cuidad Real—throughout this hotel there were many chambers wherein rich ruins, fugitives from justice, claimants to the thrones of mediatized principalities, lived on the derivatives of opium or barbitol listening eternally as to an inescapable radio, to the coarse melodies of old sins.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • What attracts you to derivatives in particular?
    Sophie Kinsella  --  Confessoins of a Shopaholic
  • In American it has produced a number of familiar derivatives, /e. g./, /bush-whacker/ and /bush-league/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • A derivative of Elizabeth.
    Ted Dekker  --  BoneMan’s Daughters
  • You never were a consignee and you have derivative PanAfrican citizenship through one of your grandfathers, no huhu.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • This choice was anathema to Sullivan, who abhorred derivative architecture, but during the meeting he made no objection.
    Erik Larson  --  The Devil in the White City
  • Waste is an interesting word that you can trace through Old English and Old Norse back to the Latin, finding such derivatives as empty, void, vanish and devastate.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • The movement is, properly speaking, a derivative from Nihilism—though they are only known indirectly, and by hearsay, for they never advertise their doings in the papers.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
  • "Velocity" is first derivative, the differential of distance with respect to time; he converted those equations into differential equations, then played games with them.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Tunnel In the Sky
  • "Tanglefoot" is a derivative of the nerve gas we had been using on Bugs in the past — instead of killing, it gives any Bug that trots through it a sort of shaking palsy.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Starship Troopers
  • Many pieces of furniture are reproductions instead of actual period originals, giving America’s most notable residence a cheap, derivative feel rather than an aura of grandeur.
    Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Kennedy
  • I have always thought that art is not a category, not a realm covering innumerable concepts and derivative phenomena, but that, on the contrary, it is something concentrated, strictly limited.
    Boris Pasternak  --  Doctor Zhivago
  • They had, they saw, to answer an interesting question: Do the quinine derivatives act by attaching themselves to the bacteria, or by changing the body fluids?
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • But in regard to the interfering acts of a superior and subordinate authority, of an original and derivative power, the nature and reason of the thing indicate the converse of that rule as proper to be followed.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • It’s called Nyodene Derivative or Nyodene D. It was in a movie we saw in school on toxic wastes.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • …so as those later barbarians, young men probably, and picked specimens among the earlier British converts to Christianity, at least nominally such, and taken to Rome (as to-day converts from lesser isles of the sea may be taken to London), of whom the Pope of that time, admiring the strangeness of their personal beauty so unlike the Italian stamp, their clear ruddy complexion and curled flaxen locks, exclaimed, "Angles" (meaning English the modern derivative) "Angles do you call them?
    Herman Melville  --  Billy Budd
  • Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative).
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative).
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • Most of these new words, of course, produced derivatives, for example, /to stack hay/, /to shingle/, /to shuck/ (/i. e./, corn), /to trail/ and /to caucus/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • Its familiar derivatives, /e. g./, /lumber-yard/, /lumberman/, /lumberjack/, greatly reinforce this usage.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • /To heft/, in English, means to lift; the early Americans made it mean to weigh by lifting, and kept the idea of weighing in its derivatives, /e. g./, /hefty/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • This distinction between English and American usage still prevails, despite the affectation which has lately sought to revive /boot/, and with it its derivatives, /boot-shop/ and /bootmaker/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • [27] As usual, derivatives quickly followed the new-comers, among them /peonage/, /broncho-buster/, /ranchman/ and /ranch-house/, and the verbs /to ranch/, /to lasso/, /to corral/, /to ante up/, and /to cinch/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • The derivative verb, /to guy/, is unknown in English; its nearest equivalent is /to spoof/, which is unknown in American.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • He pronounced the name itself, Nyodene Derivative, with an unseemly relish, taking morbid delight in the very sound.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • And doing covers isn’t derivative?
    Sarah Dessen  --  This Lullaby
  • The familiar American derivative, /buster/, as in /Buster Brown/, is unknown to the English.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • Most of these coinages produce derivatives, /e. g./, /bevo-officer/, /to kodak/, /kodaker/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • And then he’d add, "although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative."
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • And then he’d add, "although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative."
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
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Associated words [difficulty]:   derivative [5] , derive [1] , derivation [8]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Architecture, Logic & Reasoning, Fine Arts & Music, Engineering, Business, Science
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