Share this entry
derrick Syllabification: der·rick
Pronunciation: /ˈderik/

Definition of derrick in English:


1A kind of crane with a movable pivoted arm for moving or lifting heavy weights, especially on a ship.
Example sentences
  • The derrick cranes being used for erection were then moved forward to the next segment and the cycle was repeated.
  • The vessel to be fitted with winches, derricks, wheels and ordinary runners capable of handling lifts up to 2 tons.
  • Today, two derrick cranes will move the heavy reactor and its related equipment to a trailer with 360 wheels on the pier.
2The framework over an oil well or similar boring that holds the drilling machinery.
Example sentences
  • Soon drilling derricks, pipelines and roads carved up the region, and oil spills polluted lakes and rivers.
  • Oil wells no longer require derricks, so west county's 7,000 rickety towers are largely gone.
  • There were oil derricks and natural gas pipelines, grain elevators six stories high.


Early 17th century (denoting a hangman, also the gallows): from Derrick, the surname of a hangman in London, England.

  • Derrick was first used to mean either the gallows or a hangman, and comes from the name of a London hangman who worked around 1600. This was then transferred to a tackle on a ship's mast, and from there extended to any hoisting device.

Words that rhyme with derrick

alphanumeric, atmospheric, chimeric, cleric, climacteric, congeneric, Derek, Eric, esoteric, exoteric, ferric, generic, hemispheric, Herrick, Homeric, hysteric, mesmeric, numeric, skerrick, spheric, stratospheric
Definition of derrick in:
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.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources