Definition of deciduous in English:



  • 1(of a tree or shrub) shedding its leaves annually.

    Often contrasted with evergreen
    • ‘The trees were mainly deciduous, losing their leaves in the autumn.’
    • ‘All it takes to bring fall color to a corner of your garden is a few flame-foliaged shrubs, some late-season perennials, and perhaps a small-scale deciduous tree with gold or bronze red leaves.’
    • ‘Underlying all of this autumn colour are the changing concentrations of different coloured pigments in the leaves of deciduous trees.’
    • ‘Evergreen trees, including many conifers, support more leaf area than deciduous trees in the same environment.’
    • ‘While the peonies described above are herbaceous perennials, an interesting variation of the genus are the tree peonies, deciduous shrubs with lovely foliage and flowers.’
    • ‘Being a deciduous shrub, lemon verbena will drop its leaves for a few months during the winter.’
    • ‘Even without leaves, many deciduous shrubs and trees display bright fruits or bark.’
    • ‘Established plants can be moved, of course, and autumn is as good a time as any to relocate herbaceous perennials, deciduous shrubs and small trees.’
    • ‘Whilst deciduous trees and shrubs lie dormant for the winter, the garden itself never stays still, and the need for planning and preparation for the following year continues.’
    • ‘The kapok is a large, deciduous, tropical tree that has attractive leaves and clusters of yellow, white or pink flowers.’
    • ‘The leaves of various deciduous trees will be forming carpets of gold and russet throughout the season.’
    • ‘Like the snowdrop, all three will naturalise beneath trees and deciduous shrubs and give years of delight.’
    • ‘Most of the deciduous trees have shed their leaves by mid-December.’
    • ‘Common lilacs are hardy deciduous shrubs with heart-shaped leaves of deep green.’
    • ‘Don't rake leaves from beneath all your deciduous trees.’
    • ‘Finally, in the case of deciduous trees, pruning when the leaves are off will give you a better idea of how your pruning will affect the shape of the tree.’
    • ‘For a short while, as the leaves turn on deciduous trees and shrubs, autumn colours command the stage.’
    • ‘Evergreen leaves exposed to UV-B generally increase in thickness and lignin content, whereas deciduous leaves tend to become thinner.’
    • ‘See for yourself by driving or bicycling Stockton's finest tree-lined streets any time after the first of April, when deciduous trees unfurl their leaves.’
    • ‘The cool, crisp pinks and blues of the sky in this picture convey a feeling of autumn that is sparked by the yellow flash of the lone deciduous tree, its green leaves having turned to a brilliant gold.’
    1. 1.1informal (of a tree or shrub) broadleaved.
    2. 1.2Denoting the milk teeth of a mammal, which are shed after a time.
      • ‘They did not explain why adult feeding behavior could not be achieved with a smaller deciduous dentition.’
      • ‘The first teeth (also known as milk teeth or deciduous teeth) normally start to break through the gum from at around six to nine months old.’
      • ‘However, the rate of wear in the deciduous teeth seems more or less linear, suggesting a systematic error in the age estimates of the juveniles.’
      • ‘By the age of 3 the deciduous teeth are fully formed and by the age of 6 the first permanent teeth appear by displacing their predecessors.’
      • ‘Children normally develop a set of 20 deciduous teeth, which appear after six months of life and generally are replaced, one tooth at a time, between age 6 and 12.’


Late 17th century: from Latin deciduus (from decidere fall down or off) + -ous.