Meaning of derisory in English:


Pronunciation /dɪˈrʌɪs(ə)ri/ /dɪˈrʌɪz(ə)ri/

See synonyms for derisory

Translate derisory into Spanish


  • 1Ridiculously small or inadequate.

    ‘they were given a derisory pay rise’
    • ‘Members of the Services Union are voting on strike action after receiving what they consider to be a derisory pay rise.’
    • ‘The membership feel insulted by the derisory pay offer of four per cent for this year.’
    • ‘They were simply saying: ‘Look at how it looks to us, with what we already think to be derisory, inadequate penalties.’’
    • ‘They said the pay package means accepting a derisory three-year 3.2 percent pay ‘rise’, and institutionalises low pay and divisions between health workers.’
    • ‘We wanted to picket to raise awareness that we are not prepared to accept the derisory pay offer that has been imposed on us.’
    • ‘What does irritate me - as a UK taxpayer who helps to subsidise farmers in this country - is the fact that anyone employed part-time in the farming industry should be forced to work for such derisory rates of pay.’
    • ‘Yet while some banks and building societies offer attractive interest to encourage junior customers to see the benefit of saving, others pay them a derisory rate.’
    • ‘Many interest-bearing bank and savings accounts pay derisory interest of as little as 0.1% on deposits.’
    • ‘Rather than languishing in rates paying derisory interest, these sums can be made to work hard for the business.’
    • ‘Millions of savers have money in deposit accounts that pay derisory rates of interest.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, 300 members of middle management are demanding an improvement in what they term a derisory 1 per cent pay offer.’
    • ‘There has been a pattern of derisory pay offers in recent months tied to productivity increases and attacks on conditions, particularly pension rights.’
    • ‘The derisory pay offer was the last straw for workers.’
    • ‘The bin workers had threatened a five-day strike next week after rejecting a 4 percent pay offer as derisory.’
    • ‘Any money you do save will remain in accounts that pay derisory rates of interest.’
    • ‘As any pensioner knows, though, money can be tight - especially when rocketing prices are coupled with a derisory 75p-a-week rise in the basic state pension.’
    • ‘‘The grant increase is derisory and an insult to the student body and their families,’ said Jordan.’
    • ‘The company's derisory offer of a 1 percent pay rise has been overwhelmingly rejected by the workforce, who are demanding a rise of 3 percent.’
    • ‘Even when they go to jail, all they face are derisory sentences of one or two nights for failure to pay a £250 fine.’
    • ‘Last year we received a derisory four per cent increase in the fees paid by the council.’
    inadequate, insufficient, tiny, small, minimal, trifling, paltry, pitiful
    View synonyms
  • 2

    another term for derisive

    • ‘his derisory gaze swept over her’
    mocking, ridiculing, jeering, scoffing, jibing, pillorying, teasing, derisive, snide
    View synonyms


Although the words derisory and derisive share similar roots they have different core meanings. Derisory usually means ‘ridiculously small or inadequate’, as in a derisory pay offer or the security arrangements were derisory. Derisive, on the other hand, is used to mean ‘showing contempt’, as in he gave a derisive laugh


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘derisive’): from late Latin derisorius, from deris- ‘scoffed at’, from the verb deridere (see derision).