Definition of DERIVATIVE

DERIVATIVE Adjective and Noun

Derivative serves as both an adjective and a noun, describing something that is derived from or based on another source, often with modifications or adaptations. It encompasses a broad range of concepts across various fields, including mathematics, finance, literature, and art.

DERIVATIVE as an adjective

Used as an adjective, derivative describes something that is derived from or based on another source, often with modifications or adaptations. It implies a relationship of dependency or derivation, indicating that the subject is not original but rather derived from a pre-existing source or concept.

Mathematical Context:
In mathematics, a derivative represents a measure of how a function changes as its input changes. It provides important information about the rate of change or slope of a function at a given point, serving as a fundamental concept in calculus and mathematical analysis.

Financial Context:
In finance, a derivative refers to a financial instrument or contract whose value is derived from the performance of an underlying asset, index, or security. Examples include options, futures, swaps, and forwards, which allow investors to hedge risk, speculate on price movements, or gain exposure to various financial markets.

Literary and Artistic Context:
In literature and art, a derivative work is one that is based on or inspired by pre-existing works, such as novels, films, paintings, or music. While derivative works may draw upon existing themes, characters, or motifs, they often introduce new elements, interpretations, or perspectives, creating a dialogue between past and present creative expressions.

Criticism and Originality:
Derivative works may face criticism for lacking originality or creativity, as they are perceived as borrowing heavily from existing sources without adding significant innovation or insight. However, some argue that all creative works are inherently derivative to some extent, as they build upon and reinterpret ideas and influences from the past.

DERIVATIVE as a noun

As a noun, a derivative refers to something that is derived from or based on another source, whether in mathematics, finance, literature, art, or other fields. It represents a secondary or derived form that may exhibit similarities or differences compared to the original source.

In conclusion, derivative as both an adjective and a noun encompasses concepts and phenomena that are derived from or based on pre-existing sources, often with modifications, adaptations, or interpretations. Whether in mathematics, finance, literature, art, or other domains, derivatives play a fundamental role in building upon and extending our understanding of the world, fostering innovation, creativity, and intellectual exploration. Embracing the complexity and diversity of derivatives allows for a deeper appreciation of the interconnectedness and evolution of ideas across different disciplines and cultures.

Examples of DERIVATIVE in a sentence

DERIVATIVE as an adjective in a sentence

  • The film received criticism for its derivative plot, which closely resembled other popular movies.
  • Her artwork was dismissed as derivative because it lacked originality and creativity.
  • The novel was considered derivative because it borrowed heavily from classic literature.
  • The company’s latest product felt derivative, offering nothing new or innovative to the market.
  • His writing style was described as derivative, lacking original ideas and fresh perspectives.
  • The fashion industry is often criticized for producing derivative designs that lack creativity.
  • The play’s dialogue felt derivative, echoing clichés and tired tropes.
  • The marketing campaign was deemed derivative, recycling old slogans and concepts without adding anything new.

DERIVATIVE as a noun in a sentence

  • He invested in derivatives as part of his diversified portfolio.
  • The financial crisis was exacerbated by the collapse of derivatives markets.
  • She studied the mathematical concept of derivatives in her calculus class.
  • The artist’s style was influenced by various derivatives of abstract expressionism.
  • The company’s success was partly attributed to its development of innovative derivatives.
  • The novel was criticized for being a derivative of classic literature, lacking originality.
  • The scientist discovered a new derivative of a common chemical compound.
  • The movie was accused of being a derivative of previous blockbusters, lacking originality.


The term “derivative” is formed from the noun “derive,” which originates from the Middle French “deriver,” derived from the Latin “derivare,” meaning “to derive” or “to lead off from a source.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Derivare (Latin): Referring to “to derive” or “to lead off from a source.”
  • Deriver (Middle French): Borrowed from Latin, maintaining a similar meaning.
  • Derive: Verb form of “deriver,” indicating the action of obtaining or originating from a source.
  • Derivative: Adjective form of “derive,” indicating something that is obtained or derived from another source or origin.

Therefore, “derivative” originally described something that is obtained or derived from another source, and it now primarily refers to financial instruments or assets whose value is based on the value of an underlying asset, index, or rate. In a broader sense, it can refer to anything that is derived or obtained from another source.


  • Imitative
  • Unoriginal
  • Copied
  • Mimetic
  • Emulative
  • Duplicated
  • Cloned
  • Replicated


  • Original
  • Innovative
  • Creative
  • Unique
  • Inventive
  • Groundbreaking
  • Unconventional
  • Singular


  • Copycat
  • Imitation
  • Reproduction
  • Echoic
  • Mimicry
  • Replicator
  • Duplicate
  • Clone

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