Meaning of zero derivation in English:

zero derivation

noun

Linguistics
  • Derivation in which a word comes to be used with a different grammatical function or (sometimes) in a different (though related) sense from the existing one, without the form of the word being altered.

    Used by those who explain such change in terms of the addition of a ‘zero morpheme’, i.e. derivation by the addition of nothing. The more usual term for this is conversion.

Origin

1960s.