tadpole

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noun tad·pole \ˈtad-ˌpōl\

Definition of tadpole

  1. :  a larval amphibian; specifically :  a frog or toad larva that has a rounded body with a long tail bordered by fins and external gills soon replaced by internal gills and that undergoes a metamorphosis to the adult

Illustration of tadpole

Origin and Etymology of tadpole

Middle English taddepol, from tode toad + polle head


First Known Use: 15th century


TADPOLE Defined for English Language Learners

tadpole

play
noun tad·pole \ˈtad-ˌpōl\

Definition of tadpole for English Language Learners

  • : a small creature that becomes an adult frog or toad, that has a rounded body and a long tail, and that lives in water


TADPOLE Defined for Kids

tadpole

play
noun tad·pole \ˈtad-ˌpōl\

Definition of tadpole for Students

  1. :  the larva of a frog or toad that has a long tail, breathes with gills, and lives in water

History for tadpole

A young tadpole, which looks like a large head with a tail, will in time become a toad or a frog. The English word tadpole comes from a Middle English compound word taddepol, made up from tadde, “toad,” and pol, “head.”



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