• synonyms


[dih-sij-oo-uh s]
See more synonyms for deciduous on Thesaurus.com
  1. shedding the leaves annually, as certain trees and shrubs.
  2. falling off or shed at a particular season, stage of growth, etc., as leaves, horns, or teeth.
  3. not permanent; transitory.
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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 formsde·cid·u·ous·ly, adverbde·cid·u·ous·ness, nounnon·de·cid·u·ous, adjectivenon·de·cid·u·ous·ly, adverbnon·de·cid·u·ous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for deciduous

fleeting, ephemeral, brief, transitory, temporary, short-term, momentary, flash, temporal, flying, fugitive, short, volatile, passing, fly-by-night, evanescent, impermanent, quick, transient, fugacious

Examples from the Web for deciduous

Historical Examples of deciduous

  • Here and there also large cedars and other deciduous trees have grown up.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • The trees are deciduous, and, as a rule, are not much troubled with pests.

  • The quaking aspen is the only deciduous tree that is abundant.

  • In this grow some of the deciduous fruits, corn, pumpkins, and grain.

    Glimpses of Three Coasts

    Helen Hunt Jackson

  • The deciduous trees do not here grow as large as with us further to the south.

    In to the Yukon

    William Seymour Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for deciduous


  1. (of trees and shrubs) shedding all leaves annually at the end of the growing season and then having a dormant period without leavesCompare evergreen (def. 1)
  2. (of antlers, wings, teeth, etc) being shed at the end of a period of growth
  3. rare impermanent; transitoryCompare evergreen (def. 2)
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Derived Formsdeciduously, adverbdeciduousness, noun

Word Origin for deciduous

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deciduous in Medicine


  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.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.