de·​cid·​u·​ous | \ di-ˈsi-jə-wəs How to pronounce deciduous (audio) , -jü-əs \

Definition of deciduous

1 biology : falling off or shed seasonally or at a certain stage of development in the life cycle deciduous leaves deciduous scales
2 biology
a : having deciduous parts maples, birches, and other deciduous trees deciduous dentition
b : having the dominant plants deciduous a deciduous forest
3 : ephemeral There is much that is deciduous in books …— J. R. Lowell

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Other Words from deciduous

deciduousness noun

Examples of deciduous in a Sentence

the bare branches of a deciduous tree in winter he chose not to fret about the deciduous discomforts of his existence
Recent Examples on the Web Once deciduous fruit trees such as peaches and plums are past harvest, cut their branches short to control tree height. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 July 2021 Schmidt said that the company previously engaged a scientist working in nanotechnology to develop fake foliage that would change colors based on the temperature, mimicking deciduous trees. Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2021 The mature canopy includes more than 22 species of deciduous trees -- including oaks, hickories and maples -- while the understory includes viburnum, dogwood, pawpaw and more. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, 6 June 2021 Now, after 17 years sipping tree roots in the soils of North America’s deciduous forests, billions of cicadas are reemerging into a world dramatically altered by the coronavirus. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, 11 May 2021 As North America’s ice sheets advanced and retreated over the past 20,000 years, the deciduous forests that cicadas inhabit shrank and expanded. Kate Wong, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 From underground, periodical cicadas have some method of counting the number of times deciduous trees – the kind that lose their leaves in the winter – regrow their leaves, said John Cooley, an entomologist at the University of Connecticut. Ayana Archie, The Courier-Journal, 19 May 2021 Truffles grow on the roots of deciduous trees in a symbiotic relationship. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, 12 May 2021 Science shows that the deciduous trees replacing burned spruce forests more than make up for that loss, storing more carbon and accumulating it four times faster over a 100-year fire interval. Star Tribune, 18 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deciduous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deciduous

1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deciduous

Latin deciduus, from decidere to fall off, from de- + cadere to fall — more at chance

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Time Traveler for deciduous

Time Traveler

The first known use of deciduous was in 1657

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Statistics for deciduous

Last Updated

13 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deciduous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for deciduous



English Language Learners Definition of deciduous

of a tree, bush, etc. : having leaves that fall off every year


de·​cid·​u·​ous | \ di-ˈsi-jə-wəs How to pronounce deciduous (audio) \

Kids Definition of deciduous

: made up of or having a part that falls off at the end of a period of growth and use deciduous trees


de·​cid·​u·​ous | \ di-ˈsij-ə-wəs How to pronounce deciduous (audio) \

Medical Definition of deciduous

1 : falling off or shed at a certain stage in the life cycle
2 : having deciduous parts a deciduous dentition

More from Merriam-Webster on deciduous

Nglish: Translation of deciduous for Spanish Speakers


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