Tad"pole` (?), n. [OE. tadde toad (AS. tadie, tadige) + poll; properly, a toad that is or seems all head. See Toad, and Poll.]
The young aquatic larva of any amphibian. In this stage it breathes by means of external or internal gills, is at first destitute of legs, and has a finlike tail. Called also polliwig, polliwog, porwiggle, or purwiggy.
The hooded merganser.
Tadpole fish. Zool. See Forkbeard (a).
© Webster 1913.