Definition of derris
1an insecticide made from the powdered roots of certain tropical plants containing rotenone.
[ late 19th century: originally used in Malaya to stupefy fish]
2a woody, climbing plant of the pea family that bears leathery pods and has tuberous roots from which this insecticide is obtained.
[modern Latin, from Greek, 'leather covering' (referring to its pod)]
- Genus Derris, family Leguminosae