Definition of derisory in English:


Line breaks: de|ri¦sory
Pronunciation: /dɪˈrʌɪs(ə)ri
, -z-/


  • 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 .

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