Definitions

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

  • n. Informal A small boy.
  • n. Informal A small amount or degree; a bit.
  • idiom a tad To a small degree; somewhat: acting a tad silly; a tad uncomfortable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small amount; a little bit.

Etymologies

Perhaps short for tadpole.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1877, ‘young or small child’, probably a shortened form of tadpole. The extended meaning ‘small amount’ is first recorded 1915. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The other thing that kicks this one up a tad is the major eye candy babe-age with both Musetta Vander as Shan'auc and Vanessa Angel as Anise (and who, exactly, designs a top that leaves the belly button bare?)

    Stargate SG-1 Watchathon - 'Crossroads' (S04E04)

  • The more usual use of tad is the sense 'a small amount or degree; a bit ', often used in the adverbial phrase a tad 'a little; slightly'.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • I hope they do Suicide Squeeze, altho they'd hafta tone down the title a tad, considering the economy and all.

    Here comes 2010 ...

  • A deity'dev' was also named and installed here and thus the name tad-dev.

    Archive 2006-09-01

  • I am not sure tad is allowed to modify risque - or even be in the same sentence - especially when the subject is tango:

    Tango . . .

  • Tamer by a tad was the $146,000 Audi R8 -- out of all the cars in the group, this is the one I'd actually buy, a still-super-cool-but-practical daily driver.

    Supercar Driving Tours

  • They have now reduced it a tad, which is why the 8th district is up for grabs in the house race this year.

    New Obama Ad Sketches His American Story

  • In fact, the one thing of the play that bothered me just a tad was the insistence on the ending of tying some loose ends off when I would happily and oddly for me, I've got to say seen them unresolved.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • Pictured on the left sidebar scroll down a tad is the logo of a new sponsor we are particularly proud of here at From On High.

    From On High

  • Sometimes she says the bones creak a tad, but she refuses to quit, because she loves helping people.

    CNN Transcript Jan 28, 2005

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Comments

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  • I like tad in the "small amount" sense.

    May 6, 2009


  • My mother told me long ago
    (When I was a little tad)
    That when the night went wailing so,
    Somebody had been bad;
    And then, when I was snug in bed,
    Whither I had been sent,
    With the blankets pulled up round my head,
    I'd think of what mother'd said,
    And wonder what boy she meant!

    - Eugene Field, 'The Night Wind'.

    November 3, 2008