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See also: Derrick


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Derricks on the deck of a cargo ship at Brisbane


Named after British executioner Thomas Derrick, who invented the framework arrangement commonly known by this name to aid in the conduct of executions.



derrick (plural derricks)

  1. A device that is used for lifting and moving large objects.
    • 1894, Rudyard Kipling, To the City of Bombay:
      They count their ships full tale— / Their corn and oil and wine, / Derrick and loom and bale, / And rampart’s gun-flecked line; / City by City they hail: / “Hast aught to match with mine?”
    • 1945 January and February, T. F. Cameron, “Dock Working”, in Railway Magazine, pages 9, 10:
      At some places it is possible to load or discharge a vessel without any expenditure on docks or wharves, by dealing with the cargo by hand, or by the ships derricks, or by means of floating discharging appliances while the vessel it moored to buoys in a tideway. [] At low tide it may be impracticable to use a ship's derricks [at a berth].
  2. A framework that is constructed over a mine or oil well for the purpose of boring or lowering pipes.
    Synonym: oil derrick
  3. (obsolete) A hangman.

Derived terms[edit]



derrick (third-person singular simple present derricks, present participle derricking, simple past and past participle derricked)

  1. (transitive) To hoist with, or as if with, a derrick.
  2. (transitive, baseball, informal) To remove (a pitcher).
    • 2012, Ray Robinson, High and Tight:
      Stinky, who had batted a bit over .200 with scant power (two home runs in 66 games in 1933), was being derricked by Navin.
    • 2014, Addie Joss, Gary Mitchem, Addie Joss on Baseball, page 96:
      As a rule, when the twirler is derricked, it is because the members of the opposition are beginning to take undue familiarity with his offerings. But this is not always the reason.


  • For "hangman": 1949, John Dover Wilson (compiler), Life in Shakespeare's England. A Book of Elizabethan Prose, Cambridge at the University Press. 1st ed. 1911, 2nd ed. 1913, 8th reprint. In Glossary and Notes



derrick m (plural derricks)

  1. derrick

Further reading[edit]