Definition of tadpole in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtadˌpōl/


The tailed aquatic larva of an amphibian (frog, toad, newt, or salamander), breathing through gills and lacking legs until its later stages of development.
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).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tad·pole

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