cane toad


: a large, brownish, poisonous toad (Rhinella marina synonym Bufo marinus) native to Central and South America, Mexico, and extreme southern Texas and introduced into other tropical and subtropical areas (such as Australia) where it has become an invasive species
Cane toads are seen as a major threat to biodiversity, not only because they voraciously out-compete some native species for food and consume others, but also because their skin toxins are thought to kill carnivorous predators which mistake them for local amphibians.Sheila Lunter

called also giant toad, marine toad

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Australia has no natural predators or diseases that can control cane toad numbers. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Jan. 2023 Now, Daniel Florance from the University of Sydney has found a clever way of corralling the cane toad invasion. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 22 Feb. 2011 The record was set in March 1991 by a cane toad owned by a Swedish man. Aina J. Khan, NBC News, 20 Jan. 2023 Australia's battle with the formidable cane toad is so legendary; it was even referenced in a Simpson's episode. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 One of Frankenberg’s offshoot projects is an attempt to edit the DNA of native animals to develop resistance to cane toad poison. Frances Vinall, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 Survival of the feces: Does a nematode lungworm adaptively manipulate the behavior of its cane toad host? Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 28 Apr. 2018 The bufo toad, also known as the cane toad, is a common summer sight in South Florida, but experts in the area believe the species is returning in larger numbers than in previous years. Kyla Guilfoil, ABC News, 30 June 2022 Elsewhere in the lab sat a reminder of the impact humans have already had on Mother Nature: the cane toad. Frances Vinall, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cane toad.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1955, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cane toad was in 1955

Dictionary Entries Near cane toad

Cite this Entry

“Cane toad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition

cane toad

: a large, brownish toad (Rhinella marina synonym Bufo marinus) that secretes a toxin poisonous especially to small animals and that is native to Central and South America, Mexico, and southernmost Texas but has become an invasive species in other warm regions (as Florida and Australia) where it was formerly introduced for insect control
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Which Came First?

  • baby chick with a brown egg
  • hot take or cold shoulder?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?