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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The deciduous broad-leaved forests that now cover 11 percent of North America north of Mexico were in their infancy. Andrew L. Hipp, Scientific American, "How Oak Trees Evolved to Rule the Forests of the Northern Hemisphere," 15 July 2020 In the California near-desert setting of 'Last of the Boys,' a more scrubby, scrappy deciduous remnant was seen silently clinging to life, while 'the boys' wrestled with their past lives in Vietnam. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Designer Rick Graham created the look of dozens of Milwaukee stage productions," 29 June 2020 In the ground, they can be blended with a variety of evergreen or deciduous shrubs and trees or used as focal points. Earl Nickel,, "The best Japanese maple for your Bay Area garden," 5 June 2020 Unlike most other deciduous trees, Japanese maples often provide winter interest, especially if pruned to create an eye-catching shape. Earl Nickel,, "The best Japanese maple for your Bay Area garden," 5 June 2020 About Jacarandas Jacarandas are highly drought-tolerant deciduous trees that drop their leaves in winter. Southern Living, "Jacaranda Blooms Are Warm-Weather Signs of Spring," 27 May 2020 For centuries, European cheesemakers have aged their wares in deciduous tree leaves, and the oak’s naturally tannic greenery has acted as an antifungal agent for generations of pickled vegetables. Kat Craddock, Saveur, "10 Flavor-Packed Leaves From Around the World to Bring Into Your Kitchen," 25 May 2017 But these spring beauties are also designed to run their cycle before the deciduous trees above, leaf out and cast their shade. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "There's a reason there are so many types of plants. And it's all connected to ecology," 6 Mar. 2020 Pines and firs need just monthly summer watering, while many deciduous trees have moderate watering needs (twice per month). oregonlive, "How to keep trees well-watered in any season: Ask an expert," 15 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deciduous

Time Traveler for deciduous

Time Traveler

The first known use of deciduous was in 1657

See more words from the same year

Statistics for deciduous

Last Updated

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deciduous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deciduous


How to pronounce deciduous (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on deciduous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deciduous

Spanish Central: Translation of deciduous

Nglish: Translation of deciduous for Spanish Speakers

Comments on deciduous

What made you want to look up deciduous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!