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[tad-pohl] /ˈtæd poʊl/
the aquatic larva or immature form of frogs and toads, especially after the development of the internal gills and before the appearance of the forelimbs and the resorption of the tail.
Origin of tadpole
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English tad(de)pol, equivalent to tad(de) toad + pol poll1 (head) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tadpole
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But after a while the tadpole's mother came out, and then the minnows caught it!


    Frank Richard Stockton
  • It seemed to me very like the tadpole resolution in "Festina lente."

  • We come now to the final stages in the life of the tadpole babies.

  • There is a common belief that at a certain time the tail of the tadpole falls off.

  • Like a tadpole, the market seems to consume itself in transactions.

  • He was a famous swimmer, having been used to the water from the time he was a tadpole.

    The Tale of Ferdinand Frog Arthur Scott Bailey
  • "More like a tadpole than anything," mused the unhappy father.

    The Wonder J. D. Beresford
  • That is because he has not yet gotten rid of his tadpole tail.

    Socialism: Positive and Negative

    Robert Rives La Monte
  • Let us not forget to add that he styled Keats "the tadpole of the Lakists."

British Dictionary definitions for tadpole


the aquatic larva of frogs, toads, etc, which develops from a limbless tailed form with external gills into a form with internal gills, limbs, and a reduced tail
Word Origin
C15 taddepol, from taddetoad + pol head, poll
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 tadpole

c.1400, from tadde "toad" (see toad) + pol "head" (see poll (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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