The tailed aquatic larva of an amphibian (frog, toad, newt, or salamander), breathing through gills and lacking legs until its later stages of development.
More example sentences
- Early in its development a tadpole breathes with gills.
- They will also prey on crayfish, frogs, tadpoles, and other aquatic dwellers.
- As the tadpoles become frogs, the gills initially used to breathe are replaced with lungs.
late 15th century: from Old English tāda 'toad' + poll (probably because the tadpole seems to consist of a large head and a tail in its early development stage).
Definition of tadpole in:
- The British & World English dictionary