derisive, derisory
Although their meanings have coincided since their first appearance in the 17c, in current use they are for the most part kept separate, derisive meaning ‘scoffing, scornful’ as in derisive laughter and derisive remarks and derisory meaning ‘ridiculously small or insignificant’ as in a derisory pay offer and a derisory contribution. Derisive is occasionally found used erroneously for derisory (

• ☒ a derisive offer of a purse split at 90 per cent to 10 per cent in favour of the world champion —Evening Standard, 1992).

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Derisive — De*ri sive, a. Expressing, serving for, or characterized by, derision. Derisive taunts. Pope. {De*ri sive*ly}, adv. {De*ri sive*ness}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • derisive — index calumnious, caustic, contemptuous, cynical, disdainful, impertinent (insolent), insolent, pejo …   Law dictionary

  • derisive — 1620s, characterized by derision, from L. deris , pp. stem of deridere (see DERISION (Cf. derision)) + IVE (Cf. ive). Meaning ridiculous is from 1896. Related: Derisively …   Etymology dictionary

  • derisive — [adj] ridiculing cheeky*, cocky, contemptuous, crusty, disdainful, flip*, fresh, gally, insulting, jeering, mocking, nervy, out of line, rude, sarcastic, sassy, scoffing, scornful, smart*, smart alecky*, taunting; concept 267 Ant. complimentary,… …   New thesaurus

  • derisive — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ expressing contempt or ridicule. DERIVATIVES derisively adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • derisive — [di rī′sə rē, di rīzərēdi rī′siv, di rīziv] adj. [ML derisivus: see DERISION & IVE] 1. showing derision; ridiculing 2. provoking derision; ridiculous: Also derisory [di rī′sə rē, di rīzərē] derisively adv. derisiveness n …   English World dictionary

  • derisive — adjective /dɪˈɹaɪ.sɪv/ a) Expressing or characterized by derision; mocking; ridiculing. The critics review of the film was derisive. b) Deserving or provoking derision or ridicule. The plot of the film was so derisive that the audience began to… …   Wiktionary

  • derisive —  , derisory  Something that is derisive conveys ridicule or contempt. Something that is derisory invites it. A derisory offer is likely to provoke a derisive response …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • derisive — [[t]dɪra͟ɪsɪv[/t]] ADJ GRADED A derisive noise, expression, or remark expresses contempt. There was a short, derisive laugh. Syn: contemptuous Derived words: derisively ADV GRADED ADV with v Phil s tormentor snorted derisively …   English dictionary

  • derisive — adjective Date: circa 1662 expressing or causing derision < derisive laughter > • derisively adverb • derisiveness noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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