noun Informal.
a small child, especially a boy.
a very small amount or degree; bit: Please shift your chair a tad to the right. The frosting could use a tad more vanilla.

1875–80, Americanism, for def 1; 1935–40, Americanism, for def 2; perhaps shortening of tadpole

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a male given name, form of Thaddeus or Theodore.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
tad (tæd)
1.  (US), (Canadian) a small boy; lad
2.  (US), (Canadian) a small bit or piece
3.  a tad a little; rather: she may be a tad short but she got a top modelling job
[C20: short for tadpole]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1877, "young or small child," probably a shortened form of tadpole. The extended meaning "small amount" is first recorded 1915.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

TAD abbr.
transient acantholytic dermatosis

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
It was brash, self-confident, curious and a tad jingoistic.
In summary, more people take the test and the averages are down a tad.
My lobsters seemed a tad tired from their long travels but they soon perked up.
And the prizes are a tad snazzier than a blue ribbon.
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