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 (kə-do͞o′kəs, -dyo͞o′-)
Dropping off or shedding at an early stage of development, as the gills of most amphibians or the sepals or stipules of certain plants.

[From Latin cadūcus, falling, from cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Biology) biology (of parts of a plant or animal) shed during the life of the organism
[C17: from Latin cadūcus falling, from cadere to fall]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kəˈdu kəs, -ˈdyu-)

1. Bot. dropping off very early, as leaves.
2. Zool. subject to shedding.
[1675–85; < Latin cadūcus unsteady, perishable =cad(ere) to fall + -ūcus adj. suffix; see -ous]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.caducous - shed at an early stage of development; "most amphibians have caducous gills"; "the caducous calyx of a poppy"
biological science, biology - the science that studies living organisms
lasting, persistent - retained; not shed; "persistent leaves remain attached past maturity"; "the persistent gills of fishes"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
It was caducous. I grieve that grief can teach me nothing, nor carry me one step into real nature.
Inflorescences produced before leaves, subtended by small bracts on reduced cymes with 2-5 flowers per cluster, flowers rarely solitary; peduncles stout, 2-3 mm long, pedicels slender, <2 mm long, with a basal small and caducous bracteole <1 mm, soon deciduous.
Corolla pentamerous, gamopetalous and caducous, with valvate aestivation, presumably rotate and reflexed.
During the GTs final developmental stages, the vacuoles in some of the glandular cells increase in size and their protoplasts darkens; these changes are soon seen in neighboring cells, culminating in the cessation of synthesis activities and in GTs death that are caducous.
Uppermost leaves linear to linear-lanceolate; basal leaves pinnatisect; fruit 2-2.6 mm; sepals caducous or rarely persistent L.
Leaves odd pinnate (-trifoliolate), petioled; leaflets paired, alternate, or irregularly arranged, entire; stipules free, persistent or caducous. Inflorescences axillary; bracts caducous.
Leaves pinnate, caducous or marcescent, sheath, petiole and rachis spiny and covered with an appressed hairy-scaly indument, blade irregularly divided in multifold or single and multifold segments intermixed, with a white indument abaxially, plication reduplicate.
Caducous stipules, not seen; leaf blade ovate to elliptic, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface glabrous throughout domatia when present, of pouch to pit type.