spadefoot toad

spade·​foot toad | \ ˈspād-ˌfu̇t- How to pronounce spadefoot toad (audio) \

Definition of spadefoot toad

: any of a family (Pelobatidae) of burrowing toads having the inner bone of the tarsus edged with a strong horny sheath with which they dig

Examples of spadefoot toad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pfennig’s spadefoot toads in Arizona have ever-shorter time frames to grow from tadpole to toad as the western U.S. sees more droughts and wildfires. Starre Vartan, National Geographic, "Meet the shape-shifting baby amphibians that become cannibals," 26 June 2019 In another study, one Texas feral hog was found with 49 eastern spadefoot toads in its stomach. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Late winter gives Texas hunters best shot at feral hogs," 24 Jan. 2018 For instance, spadefoot toads, in the American Southwest, lay their eggs in transient ponds, some no larger than puddles. National Geographic, "Cannibalism—the Ultimate Taboo—Is Surprisingly Common," 19 Feb. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of spadefoot toad

1867, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spadefoot toad

Time Traveler for spadefoot toad

Time Traveler

The first known use of spadefoot toad was in 1867

See more words from the same year

Statistics for spadefoot toad

Cite this Entry

“Spadefoot toad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on spadefoot toad Encyclopedia article about spadefoot toad

Comments on spadefoot toad

What made you want to look up spadefoot toad? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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