Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[der-ik] /ˈdɛr ɪk/
Machinery. a jib crane having a boom hinged near the base of the mast so as to rotate about the mast, for moving a load toward or away from the mast by raising or lowering the boom.
Also called oil derrick. the towerlike framework over an oil well or the like.
a boom for lifting cargo, pivoted at its inner end to a ship's mast or kingpost, and raised and supported at its outer end by topping lifts.
verb (used with or without object)
Machinery. luff.
Origin of derrick
originally a hangman, the gallows, after the surname of a well-known Tyburn hangman, circa 1600 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for derrick
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The pulley tied at the base of the derrick jumped up and after it the windlass, which struck the heavy posts like a battering-ram.

    The Social Cancer Jos Rizal
  • Where the derrick had stood was the mouth of the twenty-inch casing.

    Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin
  • Rounding the base of one of the hills an ore-dump broke into view, surmounted by a derrick.

  • The cable that ran from it was entangled with the wreckage of the derrick, but it had not been cut.

    Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin
  • I am obliged to excavate a language—to loosen up its materials, then hoist them with a derrick.

    The Car That Went Abroad Albert Bigelow Paine
British Dictionary definitions for derrick


a simple crane having lifting tackle slung from a boom
the framework erected over an oil well to enable drill tubes to be raised and lowered
to raise or lower the jib of (a crane)
Word Origin
C17 (in the sense: gallows): from Derrick, name of a celebrated hangman at Tyburn
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for derrick

c.1600, originally "hangman," then "a gallows," then "hoist, crane" (1727), from surname of a hangman at Tyburn gallows, London, c.1606-1608, often referred to in contemporary theater. The name represents a late borrowing from the Low Countries (cf. Dutch Diederik) of Old High German Theodric.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for derrick



A shoplifter (1908+ Underworld)


To remove a player from a game: Shotton derricked him in favor of Cookie Lavagetto (1943+ Baseball)

[fr the notion of lifting on a derrick; the contrivance commemorates a Tyburn hangman of that name, who practiced about 1600]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for derrick

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for derrick