Definition of derisive in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dɪˈrʌɪsɪv/
Pronunciation: /dɪˈrʌɪzɪv/


Expressing contempt or ridicule: he gave a harsh, derisive laugh
More example sentences
  • At the time, I took those words to heart, mostly because there was no voice in the media to simply laugh out loud in derisive response.
  • If all goes well next weekend, his reign might end not with a bang but a derisive laugh.
  • He gave a short, derisive laugh, but the gleam in his eyes was bitter.
mocking, ridiculing, jeering, scoffing, jibing, pillorying, teasing, derisory, snide;
disdainful, disparaging, denigratory, dismissive, slighting, detracting, contemptuous;
sneering, scornful, taunting, insulting;
caustic, scathing, sarcastic;
satirical, lampooning
informal snidey
British informal sarky
rare contumelious



Example sentences
  • People who are pining for easy, one-syllable answers find this kind of uninformed derisiveness compelling.
  • ‘Very helpful,’ she said, with a tint of derisiveness, and opened the door.
  • In this context, accusation of metrical deformity by way of human infirmity accrues an unusually multi-valent derisiveness.


Mid 17th century: from derision, on the pattern of the pair decision, decisive.

Words that rhyme with derisive

decisive, divisive, incisive

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de|ri¦sive

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.