: 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
: a contemptible person or thing

Illustration of toad

Illustration of toad
  • toad 1

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 Emily Alpert Reyes | (TNS) Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — At the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, scientists are eager to explore whether a psychedelic chemical found in a toad could help people whose depression has not eased with typical treatments. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 19 Jan. 2024 The recipe is straightforward: stuff a desiccated toad into a potato-sized rock and add a story. Daniel T. Ksepka, Scientific American, 1 Dec. 2023 The Fish and Wildlife Service is also reviewing the status of the Railroad Valley toad, which is one of the smallest of the western toad species. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 24 Jan. 2024 Many of the state’s 27 native toads and frogs hunker down in frigid weather, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2024 The toad sits next to a replica of Piltdown Man in the exhibition. Daniel T. Ksepka, Scientific American, 1 Dec. 2023 To get to the forest, the toads had to clamber up a concrete embankment, traverse a bike trail, venture down another dirt embankment and cross a horse trail. Cara Buckley, New York Times, 26 Aug. 2023 The Griffith Park forest occupies 1,000 square feet and has drawn all manner of insects, lizards, birds and ground squirrels, along with western toads that journeyed from the Los Angeles River, Pakradouni said. Cara Buckley,, 26 Aug. 2023 He was given ibogaine, a hallucinogenic plant mixture from Africa, and smoked 5-MeO-DMT, a substance derived from the glands of the Sonoran Desert toad. Lisa Ling, CBS News, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'toad.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English tode, from Old English tāde, tādige

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near toad

Cite this Entry

“Toad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: any of numerous tailless leaping amphibians that lay their eggs in water and are distinguished from the related frogs by living on land more often, by having a build that is shorter and thicker with weaker and shorter hind limbs, and by having skin that is rough, dry and warty rather than smooth and moist

More from Merriam-Webster on toad

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