Definition of derisive in English:


Line breaks: de|ri¦sive
Pronunciation: /dɪˈrʌɪsɪv
, -z-/


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.


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



More example sentences
  • A sudden craze in his fifties for skydiving was derisively dismissed by his friends and remained, for them, happily unfulfilled.
  • ‘These couples were treated derisively, and the cases were dismissed,’ she says.
  • Practitioners made it look up-to-date, however, by derisively highlighting the racism, colonialism, sexism and other failings that made past ages so inferior to their own.


More 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.

Definition of derisive in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day animalcule
Pronunciation: ˌanɪˈmalkjuːl
a microscopic animal