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Word of the Day
Friday, September 22, 2017

Definitions for deciduous

  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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Citations for deciduous
Having grown up in the high desert of eastern California, where hardwoods existed only in front yards and forests were of pine, Anna never tired of the falling leaves in a true deciduous forest. Day after day, as though there were an endless supply, leaves rained down. Nevada Barr, Hunting Season, 2002
The lake is encircled by deciduous woodland that is now dying, owing to the steady erosion of the coastline by the sea. W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn, translated by Michael Hulse, 1998
Origin of deciduous
The English adjective deciduous is straight from Latin dēciduus “falling off or down, tending to fall off or down,” formed from the preposition (and prefix dē-) “down, from” and the verb cadere (combining form -cidere) “to fall”). In Latin dēciduus is used for leaves (dēcidua folia), (baby) teeth (dēciduτ dentēs), descending testicles (testēs dēciduτ), and, charmingly, for shooting stars or falling stars (dēcidua sidera). Deciduous entered English in the 17th century.