\ ˈtōd How to pronounce toad (audio) \

Definition of toad

1 : any of numerous anuran amphibians (especially family Bufonidae) that are distinguished from the related frogs by being more terrestrial in habit though returning to water to lay their eggs, by having a build that is squatter and shorter with weaker and shorter hind limbs, and by having skin that is rough, dry, and warty rather than smooth and moist
2 : a contemptible person or thing

Illustration of toad

Illustration of toad

toad 1

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for toad


bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, creep, cretin, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, jerk, joker, louse, lout, pill, rat, rat fink, reptile, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], skunk, sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob, snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, varmint, vermin

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of toad in a Sentence

He's such a mean little toad. that miserable toad is lucky to have even a single friend

Recent Examples on the Web

Mario and the toads finish Princess Peach’s castle only to have Undodog destroy it by hitting the reset button. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Super Mario Maker 2’ gives aspiring game designers a richer canvas," 5 July 2019 Nuthatch and chickadee and Barred Owls (also known as hoot owls) live there, too, as do bald eagles, frogs, toads, salamanders, dragonflies and butterflies. Rich Heileman,, "Berea’s Old Stone House still in limbo: Around The Town," 14 June 2019 According to the research, published recently in the Journal of Fish Biology, sea toads have inflatable gill chambers that can increase their body volume by up to 30 percent. Joshua Rapp Learn, National Geographic, "This odd deep-sea fish can hold its breath for four minutes," 27 June 2019 Charming little critters like Woodhouse’s toads or small lizards line the shores, giving kiddos a distraction from long days at the lake. Patricia Cameron, The Know, "10 of the best spots to fish in Colorado," 22 June 2019 The two girls were fascinated with insects and toads and were always on the lookout for little creatures, Engelbrecht, who now lives in Manchester, said. Jesse Leavenworth,, "7-year-old Janice Pockett went missing from Tolland in 1973. An age progression photo shows what she may look like today.," 21 June 2019 Lavishly illustrated with photographs and maps, the book offers beauty both grand and intimate — even the lichen snails and toads get their due. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "David Moskowitz captures the beauty — and fragility — of the Northwest’s mountain caribou," 11 Feb. 2019 In the final months of imprisonment, desperate internees ate pigeons, toads and rats. James M. Scott, WSJ, "Five Best: James M. Scott," 8 Nov. 2018 The first is a surreal toad’s giant head, for instance, and the melody of a swamp at night can be heard chirruping in the background. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Gnog Review: Short and sweet puzzle unboxing," 12 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 toad

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for toad

Middle English tode, from Old English tāde, tādige

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about toad

Statistics for toad

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for toad

The first known use of toad was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for toad



English Language Learners Definition of toad

: a small animal that looks like a frog but has dry skin and lives on land
informal : an unpleasant person


\ ˈtōd How to pronounce toad (audio) \

Kids Definition of toad

: a tailless leaping animal that is an amphibian and differs from the related frog by having rough dry skin and by living mostly on land

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on toad

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toad

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toad

Spanish Central: Translation of toad

Nglish: Translation of toad for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about toad

Comments on toad

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


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

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!