de·​cid·​u·​ous di-ˈsi-jə-wəs How to pronounce deciduous (audio)
biology : falling off or shed seasonally or at a certain stage of development in the life cycle
deciduous leaves
deciduous scales
: having deciduous parts
maples, birches, and other deciduous trees
deciduous dentition
: having the dominant plants deciduous
a deciduous forest
: ephemeral
There is much that is deciduous in books …J. R. Lowell
deciduousness noun

Example Sentences

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 This is especially true if deciduous trees have produced acorns and can keep the thick snow at bay so deer can access them on the ground. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 6 Mar. 2023 Fruiting trees and shrubs Now that peaches, nectarines, pears, pluots, cherries, pomegranates and other deciduous fruit trees are in flower and leafing out, slowly increase watering frequency (not duration). Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Mar. 2023 Jane magnolia is the result of hybridization work done on deciduous magnolias at the United States National Arboretum in the 1950s. Neil Sperry,, 5 Nov. 2020 Swaths of deciduous trees drop their leaves each year for a brilliant fall display. Lauren Beale, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2023 Aptly named Smoketree—for its lone surviving deciduous flowering tree with clustering smokelike plumes—the property is once again a gathering spot for the Hamel’s growing family. David Nash, ELLE Decor, 23 June 2022 Finish pruning and spraying deciduous fruit trees like peaches, pluots, apples, pears, persimmon, etc. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Feb. 2023 Prune deciduous fruit trees to stimulate fruit production. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Jan. 2023 The winter light and bare branches of mature maple, oak, and other deciduous trees add beauty to the landscape in December. Dave Epstein,, 19 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deciduous was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near deciduous

Cite this Entry

“Deciduous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​cid·​u·​ous di-ˈsij-ə-wəs How to pronounce deciduous (audio)
: falling off (as at the end of a growing period or stage of development)
antlers are deciduous
deciduous leaves
: having deciduous parts or members with deciduous parts
deciduous trees
a deciduous forest

Medical Definition


de·​cid·​u·​ous di-ˈsij-ə-wəs How to pronounce deciduous (audio)
: falling off or shed at a certain stage in the life cycle
: having deciduous parts
a deciduous dentition

More from Merriam-Webster on deciduous

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