[ dih-sij-oo-uhs ]
See synonyms for deciduous on
  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.

  1. not permanent; transitory.

Origin of deciduous

First recorded in 1650–60; from Latin dēciduus “tending to fall, falling,” equivalent to dēcid(ere) “to fall off, down” (dē- verb prefix of removal) + -cidere (combining form of cadere “to fall”) + -uus adjective suffix. See de-, -ous

Other words from deciduous

  • de·cid·u·ous·ly, adverb
  • de·cid·u·ous·ness, noun
  • non·de·cid·u·ous, adjective
  • non·de·cid·u·ous·ly, adverb
  • non·de·cid·u·ous·ness, noun

Words Nearby deciduous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use deciduous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for deciduous


/ (dɪˈsɪdjʊəs) /

  1. (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 (def. 1)

  2. (of antlers, wings, teeth, etc) being shed at the end of a period of growth

  1. rare impermanent; transitory: Compare evergreen (def. 2)

Origin of deciduous

C17: from Latin dēciduus falling off, from dēcidere to fall down, from cadere to fall

Derived forms of deciduous

  • deciduously, adverb
  • deciduousness, noun

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

Scientific definitions for deciduous


[ dĭ-sĭjōō-əs ]

  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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.