[kuh-doo-kuh s, -dyoo-]
- Botany. dropping off very early, as leaves.
- Zoology. subject to shedding.
- transitory; perishable.
Origin of caducous
1675–85; < Latin cadūcus unsteady, perishable, equivalent to cad(ere) to fall + -ūcus adj. suffix; see -ous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for caducous
Flowers yellow, in racemes, with caducous bracts and bractlets.
Caducous, ka-dū′kus, adj. falling early, as leaves or flowers.
Stipules between the opposite and compound leaves (but they are caducous).
Leaves alternate, compound, digitate, caducous; leaflets 5–7 with long common petiole.
Achenes short and thick, compressed or turgid, truncate, glabrous; pappus of 2–8 caducous awns.
- biology (of parts of a plant or animal) shed during the life of the organism
C17: from Latin cadūcus falling, from cadere to fall
- Detaching or dropping off at an early stage of development. The gills of most amphibians and the sepals or stipules of certain plants are caducous.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.