In chemistry, a derivative is a compound that is derived from a compound that is not similar in chemical or physical process. In the past it was also used to mean a compound that can be imagined to arise from another compound, if one atom is replaced with another atom or group of atoms, but modern chemical language now uses the term for this meaning - thus eliminating ambiguity of both terms. The term "structural analogue" is common in .
In biochemistry, the word is used for compounds that at least theoretically can be formed from the precursor compound.
Chemical derivatives may be used to facilitate analysis. For example, melting point (MP) analysis can assist in identification of many organic compounds. A crystalline derivative may be prepared, such as a semicarbazone or 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazone (derived from aldehydes/ketones), as a simple way of verifying the identity of the original compound, assuming that a table of derivative MP values is available. Prior to the advent of , such methods were widely used.