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[dih-rahy-siv, -ris-iv] /dɪˈraɪ sɪv, -ˈrɪs ɪv/
characterized by or expressing derision; contemptuous; mocking:
derisive heckling.
Also, derisory
[dih-rahy-suh-ree, -zuh-] /dɪˈraɪ sə ri, -zə-/ (Show IPA)
1655-65; deris(ion) + -ive
Related forms
derisively, adverb
derisiveness, noun
nonderisive, adjective
overderisive, adjective
overderisively, adverb
overderisiveness, noun
underisive, adjective
underisively, adverb
underisiveness, noun
underisory, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for derisive
  • In August 2007, this question ricocheted through the blogosphere to a chorus of derisive laughter.
  • It has so much to outshrill, its derisive and despairing stances are so familiar, that it seems more noise than news.
  • Howls of derisive laughter came pouring through his cell phone.
  • At times he was derisive, using words such as "purported" and "perceived" to describe discrimination against women.
  • The dictionaries are filled with derisive terms for brainy, individualistic, and independent people.
  • In the meantime, feel free to leave your congratulatory or derisive comments below.
  • His derisive wit was so feared that the gifts of those who sought either to buy him or buy him off made him very wealthy.
  • It's too bad your arguments are little more than derisive straw men.
  • The story was obviously as affectionate as it was derisive.
  • And they are derisive, almost scornful of some countries and their leadership.
British Dictionary definitions for derisive


/dɪˈraɪsɪv; -zɪv/
showing or characterized by derision; mocking; scornful
Derived Forms
derisively, adverb
derisiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for derisive
1620s, "characterized by derision," from L. deris-, pp. stem of deridere (see derision) + -ive. Meaning "ridiculous" is from 1896. Related: Derisively.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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