from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of a part of an organism, disappearing in the normal course of development.
  • adj. Tending to fall early.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dropping off or disappearing early, as the calyx of a poppy, or the gills of a tadpole.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having a tendency to fall or decay.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. shed at an early stage of development


From Latin cadūcus, falling, from cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin cadūcus ("falling; transitory"). (Wiktionary)



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  • I just thought the same thing! (Three years later.)

    January 5, 2011

  • Wow. I thought this was a misspelling for caduceus. Wait... did I misspell that?

    March 11, 2008