ca·​du·​ci·​ty | \ kə-ˈdü-sə-tē How to pronounce caducity (audio) , -ˈdyü- \

Definition of caducity

2 : the quality of being transitory or perishable

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Caducity derives by way of the French caduc, meaning "transitory," from the Latin caducus, meaning "tending to fall," a product of the verb cadere, meaning "to fall." Words that share the "cadere" root with "caducity" include "accident," "coincide," "cadaver," and "chance." "Caducity" usually refers to the fleeting or perishable nature of something. More specifically, it can refer to the perishable nature of cognitive abilities and can be used as a synonym of senility. Both senses of the word first appeared in English in the second half of the 18th century.

Examples of caducity in a Sentence

forgetting the name of an old friend was another painful reminder of her progressive caducity

First Known Use of caducity

1717, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for caducity

probably borrowed from French caducité "dilapidation, senility," going back to Middle French, from caduc "on the verge of collapsing, dilapidated" (borrowed from Latin cadūcus "on the verge of collapsing, unsteady, transitory") + -ité -ity — more at caducous

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The first known use of caducity was in 1717

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Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caducity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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