New Member
Would it be alright to use the word derivation in the sentence "the two words share the same Latin derivation", meaning they both come from the same specific Latin root word, which is called their derivation? I keep having doubts about it being used in this sense - as the specific source or origin of a word. The dictionary on this site describes it only as the process of deriving.
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I would say that the words are both derived from the same [Latin] word.

    Derivation suggests the process by which they came to have their current form.

    Added: And Welcome to the forum. :)


    Senior Member
    M-W* certainly accepts "derivation" with the meaning "the source from which a thing is derived".

    [edit] I share Cagey's preference for using "derive" as a verb. M-W also uses "derivation" to mean a process, as Cagey suggested.

    *"derivation." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002.
    Last edited:


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, get some sleep if you need it. ;)

    Meanwhile, this definition from the linguistics glossary of the Lingual Links Library tells how derivation is used in that field:
    Derivation is the formation of a new word or inflectable stem from another word or stem. It typically occurs by the addition of an affix.​
    < Previous | Next >