Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

derivative /dɪˈrɪvətɪv/ adj
  1. resulting from derivation; derived
  2. based on or making use of other sources; not original or primary
  3. copied from others, esp slavishly; plagiaristic
  1. a term, idea, etc, that is based on or derived from another in the same class
  2. a word derived from another word
  3. a compound that is formed from, or can be regarded as formed from, a structurally related compound: chloroform is a derivative of methane
  4. Also called: differential coefficient, first derivative the change of a function, f(x), with respect to an infinitesimally small change in the independent variable, x; the limit of [f(a + Δx)–f(a)]/Δx, at x = a, as the increment, Δx, tends to 0. Symbols: df(x)/dx, f′(x), Df(x): the derivative of xn is nxn–1
  5. the rate of change of one quantity with respect to another: velocity is the derivative of distance with respect to time
  6. a financial instrument, such as a futures contract or option, the price of which is largely determined by the commodity, currency, share price, interest rate, etc, to which it is linked

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