- 1Ridiculously small or inadequate: they were given a derisory pay riseMore example sentences
inadequate, insufficient, tiny, small, minimal, trifling, paltry, pitiful; miserly, miserable; negligible, token, nominal; ridiculous, laughable, ludicrous, risible, preposterous, absurd; insulting, contemptible, outrageousNorth American • informal nickel-and-dime
- Members of the Services Union are voting on strike action after receiving what they consider to be a derisory pay rise.
- The membership feel insulted by the derisory pay offer of four per cent for this year.
- They were simply saying: ‘Look at how it looks to us, with what we already think to be derisory, inadequate penalties.’
- 2 another term for derisive. his derisory gaze swept over her
early 17th century (in the sense 'derisive'): from late Latin derisorius, from deris- 'scoffed at', from the verb deridere (see derision).
Although the words derisory and derisive share similar roots they have different core meanings. Derisory usually means ‘ridiculously small or inadequate’, as in a derisory pay offer or the security arrangements were derisory . Derisive, on the other hand, is used to mean ‘showing contempt’, as in he gave a derisive laugh .