derisive, derisory
Although their meanings have coincided since their first appearance in the 17c, in current use they are for the most part kept separate, derisive meaning ‘scoffing, scornful’ as in derisive laughter and derisive remarks and derisory meaning ‘ridiculously small or insignificant’ as in a derisory pay offer and a derisory contribution. Derisive is occasionally found used erroneously for derisory (

• ☒ a derisive offer of a purse split at 90 per cent to 10 per cent in favour of the world champion —Evening Standard, 1992).

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Derisory — De*ri so*ry, a. [L. derisorius: cf. F. d[ e]risoire.] Derisive; mocking. Shaftesbury. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • derisory — index caustic, contemptuous Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • derisory — 1610s, from L. derisorius, from derisor derider, agent noun from deridere (see DERIDE (Cf. deride)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • derisory — ► ADJECTIVE 1) ridiculously small or inadequate. 2) another term for DERISIVE(Cf. ↑derisively) …   English terms dictionary

  • derisory — [[t]dɪra͟ɪzəri[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe something such as an amount of money as derisory, you are emphasizing that it is so small or inadequate that it seems silly or not worth considering. She was being paid what I… …   English dictionary

  • derisory — adjective 1 an amount of money that is derisory is so small that it is not worth considering seriously: Unions described the pay offer as derisory. 2 derisive: derisory comments derisorily adverb …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • derisory — adj. 1 scoffing; ironical; scornful (derisory cheers). 2 so small or unimportant as to be ridiculous (derisory offer; derisory costs). Etymology: LL derisorius (as DERISION) …   Useful english dictionary

  • derisory — de|ri|so|ry [dıˈraısəri] adj 1.) an amount of money that is derisory is so small that it is not worth considering seriously ▪ Unions described the pay offer as derisory. 2.) ↑derisive …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • derisory — de|ri|so|ry [ dı raısəri ] adjective 1. ) if something you are offered or given is derisory, you feel insulted because it is not very much: He was paid what he considered to be a derisory sum. 2. ) DERISIVE …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • derisory — adjective 1) a derisory sum Syn: inadequate, insufficient, tiny, small; trifling, paltry, pitiful, miserly, miserable; negligible, token, nominal; ridiculous, laughable, ludicrous, preposterous, insulting; informal …   Thesaurus of popular words

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