One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tailless amphibian with a short stout body and short legs, typically having dry warty skin that can exude poison.
Several families in the order Anura, in particular Bufonidae, which includes the European common toad (Bufo bufo)
- ‘Cane toads are poisonous, ugly-looking large toads that are a major problem in parts of Australia.’
- ‘But, because the liver is missing and there's a hole in the toad's body, the blood vessels and lungs burst and the other organs ooze out, he said.’
- ‘There are newts, toads, frogs and fish - all of which birds feed on.’
- ‘The marsh supports American toads, midland painted turtles, Blanding's turtles, snapping turtles, and Lake Erie water snakes.’
- ‘Amphibians such as frogs, toads, and salamanders are undergoing rapid population declines, most likely due to fungal disease, climate change, habitat loss, and pollution.’
- ‘Fortunately, though, the virus has not proved to be as harmful to salamanders as B. dendrobatidis has been to frogs and toads.’
- ‘The loam of the junkyard was rich and fertile, streaming with healthy earthworms, mole crickets, and warty toads camouflaged against the ground.’
- ‘There are seven categories of fish, including the basking shark, and the same number of amphibians and reptiles such as turtles, toads, lizards and newts.’
- ‘Some amphibians we know today include frogs, toads, newts and salamanders.’
- ‘The sudden arrival of warm wet weather caused a mass night-time migration of frogs, newts and toads to deluge the centre in Barnes.’
- ‘The skins of some species of frogs and toads secrete an extraordinary array of defensive chemicals when the animals are seized by predators.’
- ‘Surrey County Council is leap-frogging into action ready for the annual migration of frogs, toads and newts to their breeding grounds for spawning which takes place from late February to May.’
- ‘Richard and volunteers spent two frantic evenings running up and down the road helping newts, toads and frogs cross the road, fishing them out of drains and covering up the grids.’
- ‘At least 10 of the 16 original species of amphibians (frogs, toads and salamanders) survived the eruption.’
- ‘A similar story can be told for several other species of toads, frogs, salamanders, alligators, and turtles around the world.’
- ‘As with other toads their skin has a somewhat warty appearance but the distinguishing feature is a dark bar across the head behind the eyes.’
- ‘The recent warm but wet weather has caused a mass migration of frogs, newts and toads to the Barnes Wetland Centre.’
- ‘Dutch police in Leeuwarden are trying to find out if drug addicts raided a pet shop and stole three exotic toads whose warty skin is said to induce hallucinations when licked.’
- ‘The familiar frogs, toads, and salamanders have been present since at least the Jurassic Period.’
- ‘The Toad Party was against cruelty to all amphibians - particularly toads - but behind the humour was a serious message of care for the environment.’
2A contemptible or detestable person (used as a general term of abuse)‘you're an arrogant little toad’
- ‘No, Joe, you sniveling toad whose pathetic job it is to lie for other liars.’
- ‘Totally avoid toads like him, and look for a crush who respects girls in general - and you in particular!’
- ‘This snivelling little toad said with utter contempt in his voice, ‘Oh sure the French have culture.’’
Old English tādde, tāda, abbreviation of tādige, of unknown origin.
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