any of various mushrooms having a stalk with an umbrellalike cap, especially the agarics.
a poisonous mushroom, as distinguished from an edible one.
any of various other fleshy fungi, as the puffballs and coral fungi.

Origin of toadstool

First recorded in 1350–1400, toadstool is from the Middle English word tadstol. See toad, stool Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for toadstool

Historical Examples of toadstool

  • For you know that wherever a Brownie sits, a toadstool must spring up for him to sit on.

    Woodland Tales

    Ernest Seton-Thompson

  • I thought maybe it had growed up from the soil like a toadstool.

  • The one that made a bad spring was obliged to take his stand upon a toadstool.

    The Quest

    Frederik van Eeden

  • The cricket who missed his leap had to stand on a toadstool.

    Little Johannes

    Frederik van Eeden

  • If he dies, it is a toadstool; if he lives, it is a mushroom!

British Dictionary definitions for toadstool



(not in technical use) any basidiomycetous fungus with a capped spore-producing body that is not edibleCompare mushroom (def. 1a)

Word Origin for toadstool

C14: from toad + stool
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 toadstool

late 14c., apparently just what it looks like: a fanciful name from Middle English tadde "toad" (see toad) + stole "stool" (see stool). Toads themselves were regarded as highly poisonous, and this word is popularly restricted to inedible or poisonous fungi, as opposed to mushrooms (e.g. toad-cheese, a poisonous fungi).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper