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

1400–50; late Middle English tad(de)pol, equivalent to tad(de) toad + pol poll1 (head)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tadpole

Contemporary Examples of tadpole

Historical Examples of tadpole

  • 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.

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 for tadpole

C15 taddepol, from tadde toad + 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

Word Origin and History for tadpole

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper