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[dih-sij-oo-uh s] /dɪˈsɪdʒ u əs/
shedding the leaves annually, as certain trees and shrubs.
falling off or shed at a particular season, stage of growth, etc., as leaves, horns, or teeth.
not permanent; transitory.
Origin of deciduous
1650-60; < Latin dēciduus tending to fall, falling, equivalent to dēcid(ere) to fall off, down (dē- de- + -cidere, combining form of cadere to fall) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; see -ous
Related forms
deciduously, adverb
deciduousness, noun
nondeciduous, adjective
nondeciduously, adverb
nondeciduousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deciduous
  • In time, it is hoped deciduous woodland will seed between the pines.
  • With deciduous rain forests and offshore reefs, it is a naturalist's paradise.
  • Cell death occurs very visibly when deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall.
  • This deciduous shrub reaches 8 to 15 feet tall and wide.
  • But man is finally as sturdy and durable as he is vulnerable and deciduous.
  • In the forests you can travel from patches of dry evergreen to moist deciduous stands of forest.
  • As the area recovered from the fire in the following years, deciduous birch and aspen trees replaced the charred conifers.
  • Soon the entire flock moved to the deciduous tree next door.
  • Here deciduous trees near the house give a real advantage.
  • Evergreens lose their leaves or needles like deciduous trees.
British Dictionary definitions for deciduous


(of trees and shrubs) shedding all leaves annually at the end of the growing season and then having a dormant period without leaves Compare evergreen (sense 1)
(of antlers, wings, teeth, etc) being shed at the end of a period of growth
(rare) impermanent; transitory Compare evergreen (sense 2)
Derived Forms
deciduously, adverb
deciduousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin dēciduus falling off, from dēcidere to fall down, from cadere to fall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deciduous

1680s, from Latin deciduus "that which falls off," from decidere "to fall off," from de- "down" (see de-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). Originally with reference to leaves, petals, teeth, etc.; specific sense of "trees whose leaves fall off" (opposed to evergreen) is from 1778.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deciduous in Medicine

deciduous de·cid·u·ous (dĭ-sĭj'ōō-əs)

  1. Falling off or shed at a specific stage of growth, as teeth of the first dentition.

  2. Of, relating to, or being the first or primary dentition.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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deciduous in Science
  1. Shedding leaves at the end of a growing season and regrowing them at the beginning of the next growing season. Most deciduous plants bear flowers and have woody stems and broad rather than needlelike leaves. Maples, oaks, elms, and aspens are deciduous. Compare evergreen. See more at abscission.

  2. Falling off or shed at a particular season or stage of growth, as antlers.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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