Definition of polliwog in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpälēˌwôɡ/
(also pollywog)


North American & dialect A tadpole.
Example sentences
  • I would get my boys out of the classroom, and we'd be in a field all day long chasing tadpoles and pollywogs and looking at swamp water.
  • But pollywogs must grow legs, lose a tail, and completely reconfigure their jaws and digestive tract to prepare for a life of eating flies.
  • Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American school children planted and tended gardens, watched polliwogs develop into frogs, tamed and bred animals, and learned to identify trees.


Late Middle English (earlier as pollywiggle): from poll in the sense 'head' + the verb wiggle.

Words that rhyme with polliwog


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pol·li·wog

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