Definition of derrick in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdɛrɪk/


1A kind of crane with a movable pivoted arm for moving 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, holding 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 London hangman.

  • 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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: der|rick

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