Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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