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




a male given name, form of Thaddeus or Theodore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for tad


noun informal

US and Canadian a small boy; lad
US and Canadian a small bit or piece
a tad a little; rathershe may be a tad short but she got a top modelling job

Word Origin for tad

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

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

Medicine definitions for tad



transient acantholytic dermatosis
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.