American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of numerous tailless amphibians chiefly of the family Bufonidae, related to and resembling the frogs but characteristically more terrestrial and having a broader body and rougher, drier skin.
- n. The horned lizard.
- n. A person regarded as repulsive.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A batrachian or amphibian of the family Bufonidæ or some related family. Toads are generally distinguished among the salient tailless batrachians from the frogs, in that they are not aquatic (except when breeding), and lack the symmetry and agility of frogs; but the strong technical differences between the bufoniform and raniform amphibians are not always reflected in the various applications of these popular names. (Compare the common use of frog and toad in tree-frog, tree-toad, and in nurse-frog and obstetrical toad.) Toads have a stout clumsy body more or less covered with warts, generally large parotoids (see cut under
parotoid), no teeth, the hind feet scarcely or not webbed, and the hind limbs not fitted for extensive leaping. They are perfectly harmless, notwithstanding many popular superstitions to the contrary. They feed mainly on insects, and some are quite useful in gardens. They are tenacious of life, like most reptiles, but there is no truth in the stories of their living in solid rock. The fable of the jewel in the toad's head may have some basis of fact in the piece of glistening cartilage which represents an unossified basioccipital. There are numerous kinds of toads, found in nearly all parts of the world. They are mostly of the genus Bufo, as well as of the family Bufonidæ, though several other families include species to which the popular name applies. In Europe the common toad is B. vulgaris; the rush-toad or natterjack is B. calamita. The commonest, toad of America is B. lentiginosus, which sports in many color-variations. See phrases below, and cuts under tadpole, Brachycephalus, Hylaplesia, and agua-toad.
- n. Figuratively, a person as an object of disgust or aversion: also used in deprecating or half-affectionate raillery. Compare toadling.
- n. this sense)An amphibian similar to a frog with bigger back legs and more ragged skin.
- n. A very unpleasant man.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of batrachians belonging to the genus Bufo and allied genera, especially those of the family
Bufonidæ. Toads are generally terrestrial in their habits except during the breeding season, when they seek the water. Most of the species burrow beneath the earth in the daytime and come forth to feed on insects at night. Most toads have a rough, warty skin in which are glands that secrete an acrid fluid.
- n. any of various tailless stout-bodied amphibians with long hind limbs for leaping; semiaquatic and terrestrial species
- Middle English tadde, tode, from Old English tādige. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The male cane toad is very sex driven, therefore he will try to mate with ANYTHING ---- even dead frogs.”
“The current little toad is something else entirely.”
“While anyone should take the proper care and consideration into the ownership of any pet, the Sonoran desert toad is not endangered.”
“The toad is very long-lived and grows horns at the age of three thousand years.”
“This action must have been observed during the most ancient times, as, according to Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood,21 the word toad expresses in all the languages of Europe the habit of swelling.”
“As a matter of fact, those conversant with this subject make no distinction between the two, using the terms toad-stool and mushroom as interchangeable.”
“I hold there is a general beauty in the works of God, and therefore no deformity in any kind of species whatsoever: I cannot tell by what logic we call a toad, a bear, or an elephant ugly, they being created in those outward shapes and figures which best express those actions of their inward forms.”
“I cannot tell by what logick we call a toad, a bear, or an elephant ugly; they being created in those outward shapes and figures which best express the actions of their inward forms; and having passed that general visitation of God, who saw that all that he had made was good, that is, conformable to his will, which abhors deformity, and is the rule of order and beauty.”
“The headword toad is duly glossed, as padda, karta, and then -- quite needlessly -- illustrated, with this remarkably elucidating sentence: the toad was delighted to see his mother again.”
“Without a thought, Addie grabbed the washbasin, still filled with last night’s cold wash water, and she baptized the toad.”
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