n. A drawing from or turning aside, as a stream of water or other fluid from a natural course or channel; a stream so diverted.n. Specificallyn. The act or fact of deriving, drawing, or receiving from a source: as, the derivation of being; the derivation of an estate from ancestors, or of profits from capital.n. In philology, the drawing or tracing of a word in its development or formation from its more original root or stem; a statement of the origin or formative history of a word. See etymology.n. In mathematics: The operation of finding the derivative, or differential coefficient; differentiation.n. The operation of passing from any point on a cubic curve to that point at which the tangent at the first point cuts the curve.n. The operation of passing from any function to any related function which may in the context be termed its derivative. The word derivation, in its first mathematical sense, was invented by Lagrange, who thought it possible to develop the calculus without the use of infinitesimals.n. In biology, descent with modification of an organism from antecedent organisms; evolution: as, the derivation of man; the doctrine of derivation—that is, the derivative theory (which see, under derivative).n. In gunnery, the peculiar constant deviation of an elongated projectile from a rifled gun, due to its angular rotation about its longer axis and to the resistance of the air. Sometimes called drift.n. The thing derived or deduced; a derivative; a deduction.