toad

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toad / tōd/ • n. 1. a tailless amphibian (Bufonidae and other families, order Anura) with a short stout body and short legs, typically having dry warty skin that can exude poison. 2. a contemptible or detestable person (used as a general term of abuse): you're an arrogant little toad. DERIVATIVES: toad·ish adj.

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toad Any of numerous species of tailless amphibians found throughout the world, except Australasia. Most are short and rotund, and move with a crawling or hopping gait. Toads are differentiated from frogs by having a rougher, bumpier skin and a rounder body with shorter legs. Length: 2–25cm (1–10in). Order Anura; family Bufonidae. See also tadpole

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toad traditionally taken as the type of something unpleasant (and formerly believed to be venomous).

In Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows (1908), the wealthy, boastful, spoiled, but ultimately good-hearted Toad needs to be rescued and redeemed from his self-indulgent ways by Ratty, Mole, and Badger.

See also toady.

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toad OE. tāde, tāda, (in place-names), shortening of tādi(ġ)e, early ME. also tadde (XII); of unkn. orig. Comp. toadstool XV (tode stole; earlier tad(e) stole XIV).

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