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[tad] /tæd/
noun, Informal.
a small child, especially a boy.
a very small amount or degree; bit:
Please shift your chair a tad to the right. The frosting could use a tad more vanilla.
Origin of tad
1875-80, Americanism, for def 1; 1935-40, Americanism, for def 2; perhaps shortening of tadpole


[tad] /tæd/
a male given name, form of Thaddeus or Theodore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tad
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • tad had turned his attention to the tree that Chunky tried to climb.

  • And tad, who was the kindest of them all, proposed to carry her home to her parents.

  • Joe worried about Barbara and tad, but the least likelihood of attack was from either side.

    The Lost Wagon James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • But while he sang he was keeping a tense lookout for tad Warren.

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
  • Like a flash the animal was on its feet again, but with tad riding in the saddle, a satisfied smile on his face.

    The Pony Rider Boys in Texas Frank Gee Patchin
British Dictionary definitions for tad


noun (informal)
(US & Canadian) a small boy; lad
(US & Canadian) a small bit or piece
a tad, a little; rather: she may be a tad short but she got a top modelling job
Word Origin
C20: short for tadpole
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tad

1877, "young or small child," probably a shortened form of tadpole, which is said to be the source of Tad as the nickname of U.S. President Lincoln's son Thomas (1853–1871). The extended meaning "small amount" is first recorded 1915.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tad in Medicine

TAD abbr.
transient acantholytic dermatosis

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for tad



  1. A small boy; a child: I've liked reading since I was just a tad (1877+)
  2. A small amount; cunt-hair, skosh, smidgen: may be taking his new series just a tad too seriously/ seem white to me even if they are a tad deformed (1915+)

[origin uncertain; perhaps a shortening of tadpole; perhaps fr British dialect tadde, ''toad'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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