from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Falling off or shed at a specific season or stage of growth: deciduous antlers; deciduous leaves; deciduous teeth.
  • adj. Shedding or losing foliage at the end of the growing season: deciduous trees.
  • adj. Not lasting; ephemeral.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Describing a part that falls off, or is shed, at a particular time or stage of development.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to trees which lose their leaves in winter or the dry season.
  • adj. transitory, ephemeral, not lasting

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Falling off, or subject to fall or be shed, at a certain season, or a certain stage or interval of growth, as leaves (except of evergreens) in autumn, or as parts of animals, such as hair, teeth, antlers, etc.; also, shedding leaves or parts at certain seasons, stages, or intervals

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Falling or liable to fall, especially after a definite period of time; not perennial or permanent.
  • Specifically— In botany: Falling off at maturity or at the end of the season, as petals, leaves, fruit, etc.: in distinction from fugacious or caducous organs, which fall soon after their appearance, and from persistent or permanent, or, as applied to leaves, from evergreen. Losing the foliage every year: as, deciduous trees.
  • In zoology: Falling off at a certain stage of an animal's existence, as the hair, horns, and teeth of certain animals. Losing certain parts regularly and periodically, or at certain stages or ages: as, a deciduous insect.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of plants and shrubs) shedding foliage at the end of the growing season
  • adj. (of teeth, antlers, etc.) being shed at the end of a period of growth


From Latin dēciduus, from dēcidere, to fall off : dē-, de- + cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin dēciduus ("falling down or off"), from dēcidō ("fall down") (Wiktionary)


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  • Since the rate of decomposition is higher in deciduous than in coniferous forests nitrogen is probably more available in deciduous forests, further increasing production(dictionary)

    September 23, 2010