<zoology> Any one of numerous species of batrachians belonging to the genus Bufo and allied genera, especially those of the family Bufonidae. Toads are generally terrestrial in their habits except during the breeding season, when they seek the water. most of the species burrow beneath the earth in the daytime and come forth to feed on insects at night. Most toads have a rough, warty skin in which are glands that secrete an acrid fluid.
The common toad (Bufo vulgaris) and the natterjack are familiar European species. The common American toad (B. Lentiginosus) is similar to the European toad, but is less warty and is more active, moving chiefly by leaping. Obstetrical toad.
Origin: OE. Tode, tade, AS. Tadie, tadige; of unknown origin. Cf. Tadpole.
(01 Mar 1998)
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