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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 De·rive v. t. [imp. & p. p. Derived p. pr. & vb. n. Deriving.]
 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. [Obs.]
    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. Chem. To obtain one substance from another by actual or theoretical substitution; as, to derive an organic acid from its corresponding hydrocarbon.
 Syn: -- To trace; deduce; infer.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

      n : (historical linguistics) an explanation of the historical
          origins of a word or phrase [syn: derivation, etymologizing]