Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The aquatic larva of a frog or toad, having gills, a long, laterally compressed tail, and in early stages, no limbs. During metamorphosis of a tadpole into an adult, legs and lungs develop, and the tail gradually disappears.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The larva of a batrachian, as a frog or toad, from the time it leaves the egg until it loses its gills and tail.
  • noun The hooded merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus: doubtless so called from the apparent size of the head. See the quotation under moss-head.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) The young aquatic larva of any amphibian. In this stage it breathes by means of external or internal gills, is at first destitute of legs, and has a finlike tail. Called also polliwig, polliwog, porwiggle, or purwiggy.
  • noun (Zoöl.), Local, U. S. The hooded merganser.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Forkbeard (a).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A young toad or frog in its larval stage of development that lives in water, has a tail and no legs, and, like a fish, breathes through gills.

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

  • noun a larval frog or toad

Etymologies

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

[Middle English taddepol : tadde, tode, toad; see toad + pol, head; see poll.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, tad ("toad") and poll ("head").

Examples

  • That little message from tadpole is exactly why this last leg is SO worth it.

    impatience

  • I love the photo of the king and queen, tadpole is so sweet!

    fickle

  • It is usually thought to be a clipping of tadpole, though it could also be a dialectal variant of toad (from which the first element in tadpole is itself derived), which has also been used as a humorous term of address for a small boy.

    A tad irritating

  • It is usually thought to be a clipping of tadpole, though it could also be a dialectal variant of toad (from which the first element in tadpole is itself derived), which has also been used as a humorous term of address for a small boy.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • I missed your little tadpole from the slide show. pchenge |

    Sunday papers

  • An unknown for tadpole is a brilliant idea as well.

    épanouie

  • My tadpole is 25 and I wish I had recordings of our conversations at that early age.

    the tadpole interviews #1

  • A catepillar, a maggot and a tadpole is still an individual life, regardless of its stage of development.

    Think Progress » 128.

  • You say tadpole is French “first and foremost” – I hope you can ensure that she gets “the best of British” though witho

    the end of the affair?

  • Pineal extract caused these cells to contract in tadpole skin and in certain other reptiles which change their skin color in response either to mood or environmental setting.

    LSD and the Third Eye

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